Oak Barrels and Oak Alternatives in Winemaking

Winemakers have long been using oak barrels for winemaking, but in recent decades oak alternatives become widely used with some advantages and disadvantages. The choice between oak barrels and oak alternatives depends on the winemaker and the situation. You might want to consider oak barrels, oak alternatives, or some combination of the two. Below you will find some guidance to help with your choice.

Oak Barrels

We now have much more convenient means of storing large volumes of wine, yet wineries and winemakers continue to use oak barrels for there reds... why? Part of the answer is consumer appeal. People like to see stacks of barrels and it does give a winery some level of street cred. The main reason that oak barrels are used though is that they offer some benefits that are very difficult to replicate with oak alternatives and stainless tanks.