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Bouchard Cooperages: International brokers of fine quality oak wine barrels

Vicard Tonnelleries


Vicard Tonnelleries is a family owned and operated cooperage in Cognac with an annual production of over 60,000 French, Eastern European and American oak barrels. Their barrels are sold all over the Vicard logoworld and are especially in demand by producers of red wine, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The Vicard cooperage is managed by Jean-Charles Vicard. They are the only supplier in the Bouchard Cooperages portfolio to offer a complete line of puncheons, casks, and tanks.

The Vicard family has worked hard to achieve excellence Vicard teamand in 1995, the company was ranked the 5th most successful business in France by L'Enterprise magazine. In 1995, Vicard was awarded an ISO 9002 certificate by the Bureau Veritas Qualité International (BVQI), for "the manufacture and sale of new French oak barrels that are naturally dried". This guarantees qualityof both product and service from the Vicard company. Their recipe for success: careful management of wood stock needs, a keen understanding of French and international markets and years of experience and knowledge in the wine barrel business.

Visit Vicard's own website.


State of the Art Toasting — Several innovations have been implemented at Vicard, one of which is an Mr. Vicardautomated toasting production line. This state of the art facility utilizes a patented process to toast barrels to a specific temperature, duration and percentage of humidity during firing. This patented process is guided by a computer, which monitors the temperature and adjusts the fuel and air for each production run. The barrels rest on a mechanical turntable, which rotates around a chaufferette (toasting fire).

Jean-Charles Vicard is very proud of this new state of the art toasting facility, as it assures consistency on production runs of 1 to 1000 barrels. It is the culmination of years of insight, innovation and the collaboration of talented people.

Vicard now offers three distinct toasting methods: the Traditional Toast, the Gradual Toast, and the Long Toast. Among the range of Long Toast they also offer the new proprietary Chauffe Blanche.

The Gradual Toast — at precisely timed intervals (see graph below), this new toasting regimen starts at lower temperatures and gradually increases in temperature over a longer period of time, with flavor profiles introduced at each interval. This method of toasting is only possible because of Vicard's computerized system of controlling time, temperature and flame. The in-depth thermo degradation of tannins brings a complexity without exceeding the aroma of the wine. In December, we tasted the 2012 Château de Candale St. Emilion Grand Cru in barrel and noted an elegance, softness and complexity, with more subtle tannins and pronounced fruit. The new toasting is available in starting temperatures ranging from 140 to 180 degrees and recommended for both red and white varietals.

The Chauffe Blanche — as you can see in the graph below, this new proprietary toast (available in only one intensity) is done at a very low temperature — the lowest among all Vicard's toasting options. This minimizes the appearance of smokiness, charcoal, and furfural. The toast is ideal for applications where the winemaking focus is placed on showcasing high quality fruit while adding structure and tannic balance. The Chauffe Blanche brings freshness and minerality to whites and delicate red varietals, and creates a very discrete barrel.

A comprehensive description of all toasts, as well as a closer look at how Vicard crafts their barrels can be viewed on their website at

Gluten Free Barrels — Vicard is proud to announce the availability of gluten free barrels. Simply specify your desire for gluten free when you place your custom order and you will receive your barrels 100% free of gluten.

Control and Analysis of Wood — Vicard rigorously controls all of its wood for haloanisoles (TCA, TBA, etc.) throughout the entire production process — from the forest to the shipping container. In addition, all of the water used at the cooperage is regularly tested. Only laboratories that take part in the Technical Commission of the French Federation of Cooperages ( perform these analyses.

Sustainability, Zero Waste, & Carbon Neutrality — Vicard is certified by the PEFC and has always acted as an ecologically responsible company, committed to respecting wood as a natural resource. The cooperage reuses all scrap wood generated by the manufacture of its quality barrels, including as fuel for toasting and heating the entire facility. In order to improve the physical working environment of its coopers, Vicard Tonnelleries has invested in upgrading its toasting room to significantly reduce the amount of radiant smoke (benzo(a)pyrene). Finally, the Vicard Group is currently undergoing a comprehensive analysis of its greenhouse gas emissions according to the Bilan Carbone ® / ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maitrise de l'Energie).

The current production is approximately 60,000 French, Eastern European and American oak barrels per year, with the capacity to produce 80,000 – 120,000 barrels, puncheons and tanks.

Jean Charles

Recommended varietals for use with these barrels:

  • Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot
  • Syrah, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • Dessert Semillon

Barrels Available:


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