The strength and duration depend on the barrel's thickness. Buying barrels with too thin staves can lead to having product losses after just a few years.
The natural seasoning of wood, unlike mechanical drying, allows you to maintain and improve the olfactory and gustatory characteristics of the various essences. Only the barrels composed of naturally seasoned staves are able to yield to the products they contain all the noblest characteristics of the woods during the stages of maturation and ageing.
The woods can be naturally seasoned, leaving them for years in the open air, or in a mechanical dryer, through a mechanical ventilation process that lasts only a few months. Natural seasoning is far better than drying because it maintains and enhances the organoleptic characteristics of the woods.
The barrels for the production of Balsamic Vinegar are commonly made in Oak, Chestnut, Ash, Acacia, Cherry and Mulberry. It is important to make barrels with different essences to have a Balsamic Vinegar with a more complete blend of scents and aromas. "Balsamic" aged in barrels consisting of different essences normally taste and smell better.
The hoop is one of the fundamental elements of the barrel: indeed the barrel's stability depends on this. The stainless steel hoops, compared to those in iron (even if galvanised), have better durability performances due to their greater resistance to corrosion.
The barrels for Wine and Vin Santo are usually made of Oak, Chestnut or Acacia.
For the "White Spirits," we use the Ash, for the "Flavoured Spirits" Cherry, Acacia and Oak.
Series generally consist of a minimum of 5 up to even 12 barrels. The product's ageing quality depends on the number of barrels that make up the series: the more barrels that make up the series, the more the product will be refined.
The reasons why a barrel leaks can be multiple and normally can be evaluated only by a master cooper following a visual inspection.