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French barrel manufacturers have to invest more and more money in old oak trees in order to be able to satisfy the increasing demand from top international wineries. Thus, the timber auction of the French forest administration Office National des Forêts (ONF) achieved a record turnover a few days ago: for 44,000 cubic metres of wood, the tonnelleries paid a total of 15 million euros. Those responsible had expected 10 to 13 million.

The Tonnelleries François Frères (TFF), for example, bought 1,539 cubic metres of wood from hundred-year-old oaks from the state forest of Tronçais in the department of Allier at a price of more than one million euros. "With this wood, the big barrel makers are not selling an oak barrel, but an oak barrel from parcel 50 of Tronçais," explained Aymeric Albert, head of the ONF's wood trade department. "We are responding to the demand of prestigious clients in the USA, New Zealand or South Africa who want exceptional woods in which to age the world's greatest wines", TTF senior manager Jean-Robert François told the AFP news agency.

The balance of the auction: "In 90 minutes, we achieved five percent of our annual turnover, which is expected in 2022 for the wood sales of the ONF", Aymeric Albert summed up.

(uka / Source: Revue du Vin de France - Photo: Wikipedia - Donniedarko37)