What do I need to do to a brand new barrel to prepare it for use?

A new barrel should be filled with water for few days or so before filling with wine as a new barrel will often leak.

For leaks there are three things to do:
  • Wait a few days. Swelling will stop a lot of leaks.
  • If it still leaks between staves, pound the hoops towards the middle of the barrel to tighten the pressure.
  • If your leak is from a defect in the wood such as a small hole, whittle a small plug out of a piece of oak and jam it into the hole.
  • Bleach and other cleaners not specifically labeled for wood barrel cleaning shouldn’t be used to clean your barrel as it could remain in the wood and affect the wine you put in it.

    For complete Barrel Care Instructions see our Barrel Care Instruction PDF.