Berthomieu, which since 2006 has belonged to Groupe Charlois, is internationally recognized as one of the best cooperages.
In 2000 the production of barrels in capacities of 225, 228, 300, 400, 500 and 600 liters began at a new ultra-modern factory in the heart of Nièvre, the region of France with the best “terroir” and the highest quality oak.
Groupe Charlois, the largest timber supplier in France, is the exclusive choice for all countries wishing to ensure a supply of consistent, top quality French oak.
The oak comes from the best forests of France from the regions of Allier, Nevers and Vosges.
It is not only the size of the grain of the wood that is used as a selection criterion, but also the other physical characteristics of oak which differ from region to region, due to differences in «terroir», soil composition, climatic conditions, and gene sequencing information.
All parameters and the repeatability of the quality of the oak are certified by the PEFC, the highest specialized body in France managing forests for timber for barrels.
The natural 24 month-long drying process takes place in new parks of more than 10 hectares, the site of which was selected on a scientific basis.
Rainfall is these parks is particularly high throughout the year, the level of soil and air pollution is very low, and the air movement very great, due to the geophysical characteristics and morphology of the area.
The technique of slow, deep barrel toasting imparts richer, more complex and at the same time more refined aromas that infuse slowly into the wine to achieve the harmony of the primary and secondary aromas of the wine with those of the barrel.
The chemical and biochemical inspection of the oak and of the entire production line is made by the independent laboratory Macon Exacte.
Checks are made at each stage, on the forests, soil, on the water and air of the timber-drying parks, on the wood processing factory and of course on the cooperage.
Analyses of pathogens and unwanted chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), anisoles, phenols, etc., are carried out.
Every barrel is labeled “Naturaleza”, certifying that it has passed all inspections.