The fashioning of oak timbers into barrels for wine and spirit maturation, known as Cooperage, has been an artisan trade continued at Seppeltsfield since the 1800s. During the growth of Seppeltsfield in the early 20th century and particularly as a result of British 'imperial preference' demand, barrels tailored for red wine, Brandy, Sherry and Port were crafted on site and exported in large volumes.
We are proud to be continuing this trade on-site at Seppeltsfield through resident Master Cooper, Andrew Young. Andrew specialises in the careful dismantling of old Seppeltsfield fortified barrels, where the individual oak staves are then cut, re-shaven, fired (toasted), reassembled and seasoned with fresh fortified wine. The process involves traditional hand-tool techniques and allows for the release of various sized barrels, from 10L to 150L - perfect for those looking to cellar their favourite fortified wine or spirit at home.
Through the utilisation of retired, well-seasoned American oak barrels, our Coopers hand craft new barrels for the fortified enthusiasts of the home. The oak timber has an average age of 80 years and is best suited to Tawny, Tokay and Muscat maturation.
To guarantee the quality of all Seppeltsfield barrels, they are kept filled with seasoned fortified wine to keep them in optimum condition. To best care for your barrel we recommend topping with fortified wine as soon as practical. Your barrel does not need to be treated with water, as it has been pre-tested by the Cooperage team. To prevent your barrel from drying out and potentially leaking, we recommend keeping your barrel at least half full of fortified wine. This will ensure the wood is kept well-seasoned and full. Please note, it is possible for your barrel to display signs of a 'syrup' type liquid at the base. Simply wipe over with a warm damp cloth. It is not detrimental, and can often occur through real winery operations.