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The toasting or burning of the barrel staves in order to bend them is an important operation and is often not given sufficient consideration.

The shaping of the staves involves toasting, essential to achieve the elasticity needed to bend them. Applying heat to the new barrel involves not only a transformation of vegetative components, but also a change in the texture of the oak, causing folds and hollows to form.  These changes affect both quantitatively and qualitatively the chemical and sensory contribution the wood makes to the wine.

tonelero A master cooper shapes a barrel over the fire

The duration and temperature of toasting will determine whether it is classified as light, medium or high, and this in turn has various effects on the wine: its colour, aromatic notes, the residues inside the barrel -  these being particularly noticeable during the first cycles of use.

Experience tells us that, in light toasting, an extreme aromatic intensity develops, characterised by the influence of coconut notes. On the other hand, high toasting removes the initial aggression of lignins and tannins, but contributes very strong, roasted and smoky notes, modifying the characteristics of the wine and removing its subtlety. For this reason we choose a medium toasting at López de Heredia, which gives better sensory balance to our wines, in addition to sufficient control over the working of the wood.

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