The advantage of drying wood in the open air

Wood seasoning plays a major role as it enhances the oak flavors of a good barrel. Our R&D department has highlighted the superiority of natural air-drying and defined the optimum length of time to season oak in our timber yards.

In natural drying, rain is the physical medium that washes away the harshest tannins. With exposure to the open air, certain strains of fungi develop that influence the phenolic profile of the wood, converting lignin into vanillin far more effectively than kiln-drying.

A timber yard dedicated to each kind of oak

To make the most of the beneficial effects of these two physicochemical mechanisms, all the wood at Demptos is dried in the open air for at least 24 months at 3 key sites with an annual rainfall of over 900 mm.

All the French oak used by any of our cooperages is naturally air-dried in the St Caprais de Bordeaux timber yard which covers over 20 000 m2.


The Hungarian oak is seasoned in the Trust Hungary timber yard.

he huge Cuba City timber yard in Missouri is dedicated to "new generation" American oak.


Monitoring and controlling seasoning effectively

Our R&D Department, who discovered the three strains of fungi involved in the seasoning of wood and registered a patent in 1991, controls the colonization and development of Aureobasidium pullulans in our timber yards.

Laboratory control and development of A. pullulans populations in the timber yards
in % between 1992 and 2003

Our customers also benefit from our simple wood sample analysis method, used to confirm completion of the seasoning process. We also control and guarantee our wood and barrels free from organochloride contamination.

For more information : The duration effect of natural seasoning of Quercus petraea Liebl. And Quercus robur L. on the diversity of existing fungi flora and some aspects of its ecology.


Demptos Cooperage belongs to François Frères Group and produces oak casks, barrels and enological products for wine ageing in Bordeaux, Napa Valley and La Rioja. (Cooperage making oak casks or barrels for winemakers, coopers and vineyards).