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The following summary shows how our understanding has progressed over the past 30 years, from forests to barrels, to woody aroma profiles for wine:

The 1980s: Understanding Oak

Researchers analyzed the structure and various flavor and aromatic compounds in wood. This research highlighted:

  • the benefit of sessile oak for wine ageing and of pedunculate oak for   ageing spirits,  
  • the importance of selecting trees for their grain,
  • the immense added value of the toasting stage,
  • the lever provided by the proactive oak maturation process.


The 1990s: Wine-Wood Interactions

Better understanding of these interactions enabled three major advances:

  • discovering the key role of wine/wood synergy on aromatic and phenolic compound content of wines,
  • adapting methods for making and using barrels to their enological functions, for both fermentation and ageing.  
  • the benefit of barrel ageing on lees and of stirring (batonnage) for the aromatic quality of white wines.


The 2000s: Wood’s 'Enological Potential’

Capitalizing on twenty years of research, our understanding of wine/wood interactions and improved knowledge of the chemical structure of oak, we successfully developed the ICÔNE process.

This process enables the oak's 'Enological Potential' to be determined, in other words, its ability to generate a precise woody profile in a specified wine category.

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