Wood Influence: Time

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Time remains the winemaker’s greatest tool. A wine’s character is also influenced by how long it remains in wood, which can vary from about two months for relatively light white wines to two years or even three for certain red wines and top-quality sauternes. More traditionally minded producers in Spain, Italy, and Portugal may keep wines in old wooden cooperage for even longer. Some brunello di montalcino is given four years’ cask ageing and vega sicilia, for example, has sometimes been matured for ten years in barrel.