1. Production of chips and staves
When Tonnellerie Radoux prepared itself to launch an operation of production of alternatives ( year 2001) it was immediately decided that the emphasis would be on QUALITY.
When it comes to the quality of alternative products there are 2 key points :
A) Sourcing of the Wood
Our sourcing of wood is based on the same principles as for Radoux, that is :
- a selection of wood coming from the best areas of France and America with a search for fine grains (fine to medium). In fact our by products (especially chips) are coming from the parts of the staves that cannot be used for making barrels as sizes are not adequate.
- a good air seasoning that ensures that the wood gets rid of most of its humidity ( down to 15%) , its rough tannins and is prepared for a high aromatic contribution to the wines
- a strict control of any type of external supply with precise specifications : the most important of all being that wood should never be treated.
B) The Toasting Process
It is in a way very different from the toasting of barrels but at the same time very similar:
- different as it is performed through a convection system (as opposed to the radiation system used for barrels). This means that toasting is done in ovens with hot air being ventilated making sure that products are toasted right through them : up to the heart of the wood (chips and staves)
- similar as toasting of PRONEKTAR chips and staves respects the curves of temperature that RADOUX is known as having when toasting barrels. A gentle start, a steady rise in temperature up to a reasonable peak that is the best for a/ producing the best balance of aromas (vanillin, octolactones, furanes, phenols…) b/ not going to the very damaging production of Benzopyrène (a very dangerous molecule for health)
- during the whole process, PRONEKTAR products benefit highly from the automatic temperature controls on the ovens which control at all times the temperature of the wood. This is the only way to secure a good rise in temperature and the best extraction of all compounds from oak.
- PRONEKTAR oven for oak chips is very original in the way that it was designed to be very close to true “torrefacteur” (toasting of coffee). With exactly the same principles. The equipment was adapted to toasting of wood.