Barrel Types: United States

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Before the US became the world’s best customer for exported French oak barrels (see cooperage), American winemakers bought 50-gal/190-l American oak barrels produced for the whiskey business. A decline in bourbon sales in the 1980s led to American cooperages tailoring an increasing proportion of their output to wineries’ needs, although variations on the barrique and pièce imported from France are the most desired, and most common, barrels used by American winemakers. 70-gal/265-l barrels—Burgundy sized heads and Bordeaux length staves—have become popular for both aesthetic and practical reasons.