Barrel Terminology

Staves- The curved slats that make up the body of the barrel.

Hoops- The usually metal, sometimes willow, rings that encircle and secure the staves to make a sturdy barrel.

Heads- the top and bottom of the barrel where several flat staves or panels make up the round surface.

Bunghole and Bungs- The bunghole is the opening on the side of the cask used to fill and empty the barrels. The bung is the wooden or often silicon plug that seals the opening.

Toast- the level of charring inside the barrel. This can change the strength of the natural oak flavors in the spirits.

Cooperage- the factory or facility where the barrel was originally constructed.

Recoopering- shaving and retoasting an older barrel so the new wood is exposed and can be used again allowing oak influence into the wine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2012-07-18_13-58-01_891Inside wine head (1)