French and American Oak Barrels
Built to complement fine wines and spirits

At Tonnellerie Ô, we are proud of the pivotal role that our California-made French and American oak barrels play in helping winemakers and distillers.

two fired barrels

We build barrels with the same passion, attention to detail and respect for nature as our partners use to craft their wines and spirits.

choosing barrel staves

Our expert team of craftsmen, with nearly a century of experience among them, handcraft, hand-toast and hand-finish each barrel to exact specifications.

View our barrels.

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The difference between French and American oak

All trees have medullary rays, structures that resemble spokes, radiating from the center of a tree to the outer layer (bark). These rays conduct sap and also create a natural point of separation within the trunk of the tree.

French oak must be split along the medullary rays so that the ray remains parallel to the width and length of each stave. Splitting the logs in this manner is the best way to ensure that the staves will be water tight.

American oak is less porous than French oak; because the heartwood is denser, the medullary rays are not as crucial to the process. This allows stave makers to focus on efficiency through quarter sawing logs instead of splitting them.