The Cooperage Masters
“Tanoeiro” is the Portuguese word for cooper, and Cooper is the craftsman who makes and repairs casks, barrels and “balseiros”, being then the famous person responsible for guaranteeing the preservation and reuse of these wine containers for years and years.
At the end of the day, as the master constructor and wood caretaker, the cooper is the happy one responsible for all the special flavours and aromas that assault the wine during its stay in the cellars.
The cooperage tradition was particularly important in the riverside areas, in wine-producing regions, due to the fact that casks, barrels and “balseiros” are key elements for wine production.
While a few centuries ago every wine producer had their own cooperage, when this work attracted a lot of interest through masters and apprentices, nowadays it is basically in danger of extinction, due to the lack of people capable of teaching and people interested in learning the art of taking such good care of wood.
Because the wood also has a strong personality, to master the cooperage art it is definitely not enough to read or wanting to learn. Besides skilled hands and strong arms, it takes someone to learn from and experiment with, and several years to reach the right point, and thus undoubtedly dependent on the faithful passing on of knowledge from generation to generation.
In Port Wine production, the main function of wood is to allow constant contact of the wine with the air, giving room for the natural oxidation, and that’s precisely why the choice of where the wine will age says a lot about the kind of wine we expected it to be.
While in a small barrel (barrica) with 500-600 litres the wine gets in closer contact with the wood, acquiring a progressively more oxidative character, in a very large barrel (balseiro) with more than 15.000 litres of capacity, the wine can maintain high levels of concentration and intensity, because it has less contact with wood.
Learn more about the history of our Cooperage, where António and Jacinto take such good care of the wood.
The Coopers Limited Edition
The Coopers Limited Edition arrived to give us clear evidence of the importance of the wood in a wine’s life.
This Special Edition includes 2 bottles (50cl) of Poças Colheita 2006, one being aged in small barrels with 550 litres, the other being aged in a very large “balseiro” with 15.450 litres of capacity.
With this unique pack we want to pay a tribute to the cooperage art, a tradition that comes from the master to the apprentice year after year.
Because thanks to the remarkable talent of our coopers, our wines can breathe and age surrounded by a very well treated and crafted wood.
Because, after all, casks, barrels and “balseiros” are much more than a mere wine container, since the place where a wine ages, says a lot about its character, colour and aromatic profile.
An irresistible invitation to find out the power of wood and also a serious tribute to the cooperage art.
Cheers! A toast to our faithful coopers!