“Today more than 9,000,000 litres of wine are being matured around the world in Flexcube’s Next Generation Barrels"
– Peter Steer, Managing Director
What we know today as a Next Generation Barrel started to develop in Australia back in 2001, when engineer and vineyard owner Tony Flecknoe-Brown developed the use of oxygen permeable polymers in wine making.
The concept is straightforward: oxygen permeable polymer cubes containing wine are coupled with true barrel oak, the exact same oak that is used to make traditional oak barrels.
The cubes provide constant and linear passive oxygenation to the wine. The oak provides flavours, tannins and aromas.
Next Generation Barrels are designed to replace new traditional oak barrels in the production of very high quality and often iconic wines. How do we achieve this? The secret is our true barrel oak, BarriQ.
Our French BarriQ, is exclusively sourced from slow-growth Haute Futaie state forests in France and harvested at 150 years.
BarriQ follows the same preparation process than the oak destined to make the best traditional French oak barrels.
BarriQ is 100% hand quarter split and seasoned in our own yard in Cognac for a minimum of 24 months. BarriQ oak is also jointed and scooped at 23mm thickness.
Just like a barrel.
Because it is hand split and originates from a slow-growth forest, BarriQ has tight and perfectly straight grain that provides a slow and consistent infusion of tannins, aromas and flavours into the wine.
To provide a wide range of options to winemakers, we also source Russian BarriQ, from the finest medium elevation forests in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia and American BarriQ, from the most prized Appalachian and Midwestern white oak forests in North America.
BarriQ is convection toasted, to guarantee a consistent and uniform toast throughout each piece. Each toast, from untoasted to high toast, infuses different flavours and aromas to the wine.
BarriQ is available in seven exclusive barrel profiles. Each barrel profile offers a unique combination of oak and toast levels formulated to match the oenological properties of the best oak barrels. Find out more BarriQ Barrel Profiles
Why Next Generation Barrels should be part of every winery
The reliability of constant and linear passive oxygenation and the high grade of BarriQ oak, guarantee less reductive wines with fresh fruit characters and perfect oak integration.
The winemaker has a broad range of options by combining different oxygen permeabilities, oak profiles, oak quantities and contact times.
The passive oxygenation levels of cubes remain unchanged over time and are uniform through the entire surface. Convection toasting of BarriQ provides an even toasting throughout the wood and guarantees batch to batch consistency.
Next Generation Barrels can be stacked to up to 4,000 litres/40 hl/1,060gal making possible to double the capacity of any barrel room. Find out more Space Efficiency Chart
A 1,000 litre cube is equivalent in capacity to over four traditional oak barrels but only requires the maintenance of one. Next Generation Barrels are easier to top up, clean and move around.
Next generation barrels offer a much more efficient approach to oak, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of winemaking. By introducing BarriQ oak in the wine, all sides of the oak are being used, not just a 5mm layer as in traditional barrels.