We receive used port wine barrels in a wide variation of conditions from the port wine houses where they were originally used. Prior to being used to age port wine, they have all also been used to age normal wine, so they will have had several years of usage by the time they get to our cooperage. Our job is to inspect all the used port wine barrels that we receive and make sure that we carry out the appropriate repairs so that they are ready to be used by our clients.
Typically the main issue we have is occasional staves that need replacing – in this case the problem is that we have to replace staves from one used port wine barrel with a stave from the same batch of barrels to preserve the characteristics in the barrel. This means that from a large batch of barrels some will have to be sacrificed to provide replacement staves in order to preserve the integrity of all the barrels that leave our cooperage.
Once we have replaced the damaged staves, we will replace the hoops if required and sand the outside to clean up the finish. It means that you can be certain that when you buy a used port wine barrel from us, all the staves will be original and there will be no leakages when it is filled.