Our wine is stored in an environmentally friendly, polyethylene, oxygen permeable flex tank. This is a fairly new technology in Napa and Sonoma but is widely used in Australia and New Zealand, especially for white wines. Besides saving trees and saving storage space, this allows me to carefully control the oak flavoring with high quality, toasted French oak adjuncts and avoids the random flavors and possible pathogens from commonly purchased “used” barrels. It also allows us to make more consistent wine from year to year.
So, as we are engineers, we purchased oak balls and squares from 2 vendors in medium and medium + toast (how long they blacken the outside). Next we are soaking them in vodka and then in a few weeks we will taste them to determine which to purchase and put in our wine. Lastly, we will then only use 1/4 of what is recommended, let it soak for a month and evaluate how it reacts with the wine. You can always add more, but you can’t take the flavor away!!!