Oak Barrel Resources
Surprisingly, this is one of my most popular pages. Locating barrels, especially affordable ones, is tough and hopefully this list will get you started. I try to check this list often to make sure they’re still valid, so if you find a link that doesn’t work, please let me know.
Updated April 9, 2015: It should come as no surprise that some of these companies are no longer in business. Some links have changed (note to web designers: don’t change page addresses unless you have a permanent redirect), so I updated those. For several years, French oak barrels became exorbitant in price due to increased demand and poor U.S. dollar exchange rate. Hopefully, this recent rally of the dollar has helped, if only a little.
Good luck in your search.
Black Swan Cooperage – Based in Minnesota, Black Swan offers sizes from 5 gallon to 53 gallons for wine, spirits or beer, made-to-order. They also sell a barrel alternative called HoneyComb®, which is basically wood staves with holes to improve surface area. Uniquely, they offer other wood varietals besides white oak. There are prices for the HoneyComb®, but no prices online for barrels.
ReCoop – Yikes! Not cheap for a reconditioned barrel. Especially for a smaller one. For a larger 30 gallon barrel, the price is reasonable and ReCoop is probably the only place producing used barrels that come close to new in flavor profiles.
Cooperages 1912 Napa – They appear to represent two coopers, T.W. Boswell and World Cooperage (listed below). They have an online order form, but no information on minimum quantities or prices, unless you go through the order process.
Bouchard Cooperages – They represent several brands including, Canadell, Tonnellerie Billon, Tonnellerie Damy, Master Coopers, Richelieu, and Vicard Tonnelleries. To get their price list online, you’ll need to give them some information. They do sell to home winemakers and their minimum quantity is one barrel. Their FAQs also have a lot of useful information.
1000 Oaks Barrel Co. – If you’re producing spirits or really small batches, this place has a barrel for you. Unfortunately, nothing is over 5 gallons in size.
Vadai Wine Barrels – If you’re okay with using Hungarian Oak, Vadai has many sizes to choose from. As small as 10 liters to 1,000 liters. And they’re willing to talk and sell to the home winemaker.
World Cooperage – If you are making larger quantities, this place will actually talk to you. No sizes less than 50 gallons though.
Zemplén Barrels – I just recently checked out their website and it seems to be one of the few who cater to the American market. It seems to be direct from the manufacturer.
Hungarian Oak Barrels, LLC – Represents Kalina Cooper Trade with lots of great information about Hungarian oak barrels and with sizes from 50 to 500 liters and no minimums, they’re ideal for the home winemaker. Their prices are very competitive with other European coopers and I’m told the flavor profiles are very similar to French oak. You can contact Ms. Csilla Nagy-Prunier by email or by phone at 800-557-9012.
Tonelería Cordobesa – A Spanish cooperage that offers French oak barrels in sizes from 2 liters to 64 liters or more. They ship all over the world.
Okanagan Barrel Works – From 100 liter to 228 liter barrels in French, American and Canadian Oak. Plus used and reconditioned 225 liter French and American Oak barrels.
Barrel Builders – Carries French Marchive, Hungarian Kadar, and American EBC barrels. Only larger sizes for most but also some 20 and 30 gallon sizes. Good luck with getting a response.
Demptos Cooperage – Another cooper that sells mainly larger sizes.
Seguin Moreau – Yet another cooper selling large and larger sizes (225 liter and up).
OakBarrel Winecraft – Carries small American and French Oak barrels from 5 to 30 gallons. Not cheap but usually available.
E.C. Kraus –
Carries French Oak barrels in 5, 7.5, 13 and 28 gallon sizes. They only carry Hungarian oak barrels now and geared mainly to the small volume, home winemaker in 10, 6, and 5 gallon sizes. Again, not cheap but usually in stock.
Many wineries have a strict barrel regiment and only use their barrels for two years before selling them. Castello di Amorosa and Del Dotto Vineyards comes to mind. You might try calling a local winery to see if they sell their lightly used barrels.
Another alternative is to look for used barrels on Wine Business.com classifieds. I always see lots of listings for used barrels, but they go quickly.