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bung hole - photo from Tonnellerie Berthomieu

Introduction

Range & Sizes

TONNELLERIE BERTHOMIEU & ERMITAGE

ORIGIN

TONNELLERIE BERTHOMIEU / ERMITAGE is owned by the Charlois family. The family has been in stave production for four generations and is currently the largest producer of French oak staves with an annual production equivalent of 70,000 barrels. Like vine growers moving into wine production, the Charlois’ decided to take their knowledge and expertise in stave production and branch into coopering their own barrels with the acquisition of the BERTHOMIEU cooperage two decades ago.
The company’s stave mills and cooperage are located in the center of France – nestled within the Bertranges forest.

100% VERTICALLY INTEGRATED

Being 100% vertically integrated (forestry to barrel production), TONNELLERIE BERTHOMIEU & ERMITAGE is able to use specific forest designates in the labeling of the barrels. The ability to forest designate is a very important distinction amongst coopers, as the company believes that the terroir of the forest impacts wood just as terroir of the vineyards impacts fruit. It is integral for winemakers to know exactly where their wood is coming from year in and year out enabling a more consistent experience with the product.

TONNELLERIE BERTHOMIEU & ERMITAGE offers five forest designates and a center of France blend. Forests available include Nevers, Allier, Vosges and the specific Bertranges & Troncais forests (only available in the ERMITAGE program).

NATURAL AGING

The stave natural aging process in a outdoor environnement is essential and primordial: barrels mechanical, organoleptic and oenological qualities depend on it.

Through wind, sun and rain, time does slowly its maturing work. Supply capacity of TONNELLERIE ERMITAGE / BERTHOMIEU allows to have 24 and 36 months stave advance for necessary regularity and reliability of its annual production.


wood staves 36 months - photo from Tonnellerie Berthomieu
 

STEAM BENDING

TONNELLERIE ERMITAGE / BERTHOMIEU utilizes a unique steam bending technique to shape the barrels. The steam bending method contributes a few things to the barrel that cannot be achieved through traditional fire bending: steam immersion gives an additional process to remove any harsh tannins from the wood after the seasoning program; the steam bath opens up the pores of the wood prior to toasting, allowing for deeper penetration and integration of the toasting process.
Because the wood does not have to be bent through fire, the cooperage is able to offer a lighter toasting regime to better respect the beauty of the fruit.
The house toast levels range from Light, Medium, Medium Plus to Heavy.



steam bending - photo from Tonnellerie Berthomieu