Our Barrels

  • Our wines spend between 8 and 36 months aging and transforming in Tokaj oak made by our coopers at Kádár Hungary.

  • Foresters have ensured the vigor of this forest since 1769 when Empress Maria Teresa of the Austro-Hungarian Empire first instituted sustainable cutting regulations.

  • Tokaj, along with Burgundy is one of the two oldest appellations in the world. The village where we mill and season our staves has a 600-year tradition of cooperge.

  • Wood staves at our mill age for 24 to 36 months before being coopered into barrels.

  • Our long-term relationships with the suppliers of the Tokaj forest ensure us first pick of the best trees.

  • Tight-grained oak produce barrels with great aromatic lift while highlighting the core of the wine’s fruit. The cold, rocky terrain ensure slow growing, and therefore tight-grained, oak.

  • Barrels are toasted over an open flame to achieve the right toast level (medium, medium plus, or heavy toast) depending on the grape varietal they are used for.

  • The dessert wines of Tokaj were long described as "the wine of kings and the king of wines."

 

 

In our pursuit of wine quality, we are in the enviable position of being able to control not only our fruit source, but also our wood source. In the early 90s, the brothers Molnar lived and worked in Budapest, Hungary. The Berlin Wall had recently fallen, and Peter took the lead in "re-discovering" a reputable cooperage that – due to Communism – had fallen on hard times. The Molnars began importing barrels to Napa Valley and beyond, and some twenty years later are owners of the Kádár cooperage in partnership with Taransaud, the famed French cooperage.

 

The source of the oak used to make our barrels is critical to the evolution of our wines. Like many winemakers, we speak passionately and often about the natural singularities of place. How place influences the way we farm and harvest and ferment and, ultimately, shape the character of our wines. But the importance of place extends beyond the vineyards.

 

Each year, we walk the forests of Hungary just as we walk the vineyards of Carneros and the Mayacamas, selecting the finest oak for our barrels. This simple philosophy extends to our Kádár Hungary cooperage: great oak makes for great flavors. And our attention to the growth, harvest, and transformation of wood to barrel directly affects our ability to produce exceptional wines.

 

View a panoramic film of the Tokaj Forest and our mill on the Kádár Hungary website.