Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How old are the oak trees when they are used for barrels? I’ve been told that they can be close to 100 years old before they are used.
—Pat W., Ontario, Canada
Yes, that sounds about right. I’ve heard as young as 60 to 80 years, and as old as 150 to 200 years. Mature trees have a tight grain to them, which is ideal for barrel usage. Depending on the size of the tree and the size of the barrels, a cooper can make from one to three barrels from a single oak tree.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? WineSpectator.com seeks a highly motivated digital journalist for an assistant editor position in its New York editorial department.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash