I really should let Mark blog the next few days (but he is traveling so it would never get done), as this was the highlight of his trip! He has always been in love with burgundy wines.
Our train ride to Dijon was about 3.5 hours. Once we got there we had to get on another train down to the town of Beaune, which was only 20 minutes. We got our rental car and then thanks to Never Lost (serious lifesaver in another country!) we drove to Saint Romain (about 15 minutes outside of Beaune) where we were staying. Mark buys all Arista's barrels from a company called Francois Ferers. All the barrels are made in St. Romain. The company was so kind to let us stay in their guesthouse, which was amazing! Anyways, Mark and I were able to tour the cooperage and it was such a neat thing to see how barrels are made. I tried to get pictures from most of the steps but I missed a few.
We had dinner back in Beaune because NOTHING is in St. R- seriously nothing! Did I mention that it's a village of only 300 people?!? Oh, and obviously NO wi-fi to be found!
Here are some pictures of the cooperage...I tried to start at the beginning of the process but I missed a few steps. Hopefully you'll get the idea or you may be BORED out of your minds...
The wood comes from all over the country.
Barrels waiting to be toasted. They had already finished the process that day. Barrels are toasted over a small fire. They sit right on top of it.
Making the tops
Lots of steps missed here... the bung hole is made, the barrel is sanded, top is placed, rings are put on...
Ready to be shipped all over the world
These pics should be at the top. Most of the wood sits here for up to 4 years before barrels are even made. This small stack where Mark is standing is enough wood for 10 barrels.
You are in luck! These must be the only pictures I took today. Enjoy that because starting tomorrow there will be a TON! :)