Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's
  1. How does the Water-bending method differ from Fire-bending?

    While the specifics are kept at the cooperage, water-bending involves placing the stavewood  in hot water prior to bending.  Once heated and softened, the stavewood can be bent quickly into the barrel shape.  After the hoops are set, the barrel is placed over the toasting fire until the desired temperature is achieved.

    Fire-bending skips the submersion in hot water and is slowly bent over a wood fire, prior to toasting.

  2. Do we need to treat our barrels prior to use?

    Not necessarily.  If the barrel has been in the warehouse for a while, prior to delivery, you may want to add a few liters of non-chlorinated hot water and stand the barrel on its head.  After a couple of minutes, turn the barrel over onto the other head.  This procedure assures that the croze are tight and will not leak.  Any barrel to be used shortly after delivery should be tight and does not need this treatment.

  3. How many barrels does the DJ cooperage make?

    The Dargaud & Jaeglé cooperage in Romaneche-Thorins produces about 25,000 barrels per year.

  4. Of your sales managers, who should I talk to?

    We have different sales managers covering different territories.  Dan Sacks covers Napa and Lake Counties as well as the Sierra foothills, the Bay Area region including Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, Oregon, Western Washington and British Columbia. 
    Ed Schulz services Sonoma and Mendocino Counties and the Central Coast of California down into Mexico.  Ed also handles Eastern Washington and Idaho.

    Eric Mercier services Eastern Canada, the Northeastern US, as well as the states of Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

  5. How do I get a pricelist?

    If your winery is not already on our mailing list, please feel free to call us at 800-227-5625 to be added or simple click here for a copy.

  6. How do I order your products?

    Most of our orders are taken over the phone, after the winemaker has had the opportunity to assess his barrel needs for that year.  In the past few years, we have sold out of DJ so we encourage you to order early.

  7. What are the dimensions of the various barrel styles?

    The shapes and dimensions for the Dargaud & Jaeglé barrels can be found by going directly to their website,, and clicking on the catalogue of the individual barrels.  Please look on our site for the different American Oak dimensions.

  8. Do you sell used barrels?

    Yes. We source our used barrels from local CA wineries and from Europe. We also sell used spirit barrels for use in beer production. Feel free to contact us for more details.

  9. Do you offer an early order discount?

    For a limited time period each season, on some of our products, North American clients with good payment histories can obtain a discount for early order, early reception and timely payment. Contact us early in the pre-Harvest cycle to see if you qualify. Marcel Cadet barrels and some exclusive offerings are never discounted.

  10. How do I know when the barrels will arrive?

    Your regional sales manager should contact you prior to delivery.  We make every effort to advise and consult in advance of delivery, to avoid surprises.  Your barrel order has a target date for delivery, but we always try to re-confirm, prior to actual delivery.

  11. How do I pay? Can I pay with a credit card?

    Payment for wine barrels can be made by check, by wire transfer or credit cards.  

  12. What do I do if I have a leaky barrel?

    Consult your regional manager for a specific recommendation.  Some leaks are easily dealt with on site, others are best handled in a workshop.

  13. What is the warranty on your barrels?

    One year guarantee of leak-free service.

  14. What is the forest selection for Marcel Cadet barrels?

    Only Famous Forest selections, such as Jupilles, Darney, Troncais and Fontainebleau.  The exact proprietary blend, and hand-restacking, ensures superbly seasoned stavewood.

  15. What is the forest selection for Barrel Associates American Oak barrels?

    For many years, Barrel Associates has relied upon a blend of several forest sources, and seasoning ages, to ameliorate big seasonal variations often seen in single-forest American oak wine barrels.  The “house” profile is reliably dialed in by choosing Fire Bent, Water Bent or DeepToast™ bending methods.  Please consult your regional manager for detailed questions about specific American oak forests.