Wine and wood have been a part of Vincent’s life since birth. Born at the Hospice de Beaune and raised at the Bouchard Père et Fils winery in Beaune, France, Vincent is a ninth-generation vineyard manager and winemaker.
During his childhood, he would work alongside his father, co-director of the winery, on the family’s 200 acres of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.
While working on degrees from the wine schools of Beaune, Macon and Bordeaux, Vincent spent 50% of his free time working at the winery and in the vast family owned forests in the Burgundy, Nevers, Allier and Vosges regions of France. Led by his grandfather and two older brothers, he would walk for miles to evaluate trees for the anticipated oak harvest.
One summer, while Vincent was helping out at the winery, he hosted a tour for Robert Mondavi, who offered to return the favor and invited him to work in California. Vincent took him up on his offer and shortly thereafter decided to become one of the first to bring French oak barrels to the United States and beyond.
In 1979 Vincent developed, internationally, the sales and technical sides of three Burgundy Cooperages, including Billon and Damy and a Cognac Cooperage. He then began his travels to all of the major winemaking regions outside of France to introduce the barrels.
Bouchard became a Master Cooper, invented the silicone bung in 1980, and pioneered initial experiments with different toasting levels in 1981. Prior to this time, heat was simply used to make the wood pliable enough to bend and shape the barrel.
In 1984, Bouchard commissioned studies on the importance of forest origin and grain tightness, as well as the effects of geography on stave aging. He was the first to introduce French oak specifically from the Vosges forest to the U.S. market. In 1985, Bouchard introduced the shrink-wrapping of barrels as a means to prevent damage while preserving humidity during shipment.
In 2006, after a blind Cooperage tasting in Italy, Vincent learned about the potential of Hungarian Oak and decided to become a partner and technical advisor to European Coopers Hungary which is a premier Hungarian Cooperage that only craft barrels from 100% Hungarian Oak.
After serving the international wine market for nearly forty years, Bouchard Cooperages is always one step ahead of the curve and fully prepared to supply a constantly changing and evolving wine industry. Today, Bouchard Cooperages is proud to work with four cooperages, an oak alternatives supplier and two Italian egg and amphora producers.