I’ve been often asked – now that Paso Wine Barrels sells the unchanged non-decorative all-natural old used wine barrels – why do the barrels have so many different characteristics. More to the point, why are some stained and some aren’t?
There are two main reasons. One, a number of wineries and their winemakers, treat their barrel tastings differently with some making it a point not to spill, even when they top off the barrels, their process is not to make a mess. Reasons for this range from a tidy and neatness procedure to not wanting spillage because mold and other microorganisms can be unwantingly created. And recall that selected barrels are painted with a red stripe so as to give off a more uniform and clean look inside the wineries.
The second and maybe more obvious reason when one thinks about it: the white wines don’t tend to stain. That’s not to say whites can’t stain – they can – as it’s a misnomer that whites are always clear white while in the barrel. Still, white wine barrels inside and out, don’t tend to have any major discoloration.
As far as the half barrels are concerned, the second explanation is usually the reason the inside of a half barrel that came from a red wine is either a dark rose or deep reddish purple. In comparison, a former white half barrel will essentially look like any oak wood without the stained red tone.
That’s it, no other tricks. And no, we don’t allow you to order one or the other – you get what you get from us. If perchance you insist on a certain type, well, let’s just say we will do special orders … but it will cost more.
So the next time you order one of our original Central Coast wine country used full or half barrels, you will know a bit more about why it looks the way it does.
Daryle W. Hier