Once wine barrels have been used for their main purpose, they become a waste disposal problem and on a large scale.

200,000 barrels are taken out of use every year in California alone, according to Darryl Hogeback of Savante Wine Cellars, Colorado.

Hogeback thought this was a shame as the wood is still good quality, and he wondered if it had better uses than firewood, never mind landfill. The result was the Stave Oak collection.

Savante's Stave Oak design

The curved shape of the white oak barrels the collection uses naturally influences the shape of the collection.

Rather than try to hide this, Savante steam-bend wood to the exact shape they want, with the staves being used alternately to create a swaying wave-like pattern.

Savante favours using white oak in general, as it is stronger than redwood but has the same resistance to decay.

It's not just the staves that are re-used however, the steel bands and barrel ends all have their places in the cellars.

No nails, screws, staples or glue are needed, with the pieces of wood fixed together with mortise-and-tenon joins (ie wood is cut so that part of one piece slots into a hole in another).

Savante place great emphasis on using the materials to keep air flowing evenly around the bottles, which keeps the temperature of the wine - Hogeback is fond of Merlot - the same.

As any wine-buff knows, keeping wine at the same, cool temperature in a good wine cellar is the key to preserving, or even improving its quality. 


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