Have you ever wondered who makes the wood barrels? When did they start to be used? What were the reasons for producing oak barrels.
The person that fabricates a wooden barrel is called a cooper, several names that can be given to this wooden container are; barrel or cask. It is unknown when the coopering craft began. The reason why it is difficult to know when it began is because the material that makes up the barrel naturally starts to disintegrate over time. There have been records stating that this craft is more than two thousand years old.
Initially, the Celts began to use them to transport and store different materials, both liquid and solid, when the Romans invaded them, they adopted the idea by replacing the clay amphorae which already gave them too many problems to move their loads, it is said that the first barrels they weren't as we know them today, they were hollowed out pieces of trunk and on top they had a wooden lid. Then they would cut the wood into thinner pieces called staves and joined them with wooden or wicker hoops here they realized the manipulation they could have on the wood using goth water and fire. As the Romans began to grow and extend their empire, they began spreading the use of the barrel as a container to transport a wide variety of items so much so that the term tonnage was used to measure the capacity of the ships at that time it was the amount of barrels that fit on the ship.
Over the years the Romans realized that using barrels to transport wine was easier in the wooden barrels than the previous used and at the time of
arriving at destination the wooden barrels provided better qualities to the wine. After discovering this they began to use the new wooden containers to
Thanks to this discovery we currently still have the craft of coopering. The barrels have undoubtedly become one of the pillars for aging wine, distilled
spirits and the fermentation of many more beverages.
Although the use of technology is implemented as in most industries, it does not stop having enough processes done manually, allowing the essence, labor and tradition done by the cooper not to be lost after all these years. It is craft transmitted from generation to generation it´s an activity that supports many families in well-defined regions around the world, mainly regions that produce drinks that are used for aging and fermentation.
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