From the cellar: the washing of the barrels
The washing of barrique and tonneaux
One of the most frequently asked questions made during the wine cellar tours is not just about wine and its aging, but also about the barrels, how they are treated, cleaned and sanitized.
Maybe you didn’t know that barriques and tonneaux are washed several times during their stay in the cellar. The first treatment that the barrels undergo just arrived in the cellar is the rehydration: they are placed vertically and filled with water. They are left in this position one day and the next day they are overturned on the other side. This allows the wine not to be absorbed by the wood during aging, since the latter is already damp.
The barrels are also washed during the aging of the wine. In February/March the first racking of the wine takes place: the wine is removed for a very short time by its barrel, which is rinsed with pressurized hot water, so that the lees deposited on its surface are removed. The machine used is able to spray hot water under pressure and at the same time to aspirate it, so that the process is very fast and effective.
As soon as the washing is over, the barrels are filled with wine again and left "undisturbed" until the next racking, unless they are filled as needed during the months.