Barrel Maintenance: Identification

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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At many larger wineries a card is attached to the head of the barrel to enable the winemaker to follow the life of each individual barrel. In larger New World wineries, it is not uncommon to see the sort of bar code used by supermarkets, along with computerized tracking (see information technology). Some coopers now deliver barrels with bar codes, making it easier to identify them and improving their traceability. In smaller wineries, a few letters may suffice. In Burgundy, for example, the chalked letters ‘CM/R’ might serve to denote ‘Chassagne Montrachet, Ruchottes’. And in very small cellars, the single individual in charge may know every barrel so intimately that formal markings are unnecessary. Some wineries are now experimenting with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems.