Our Barrel Aging Program

Our Barrel Aging Program takes your great wines and makes them better!

All wines need aging. In the commercial wine world most wineries age their wines in bulk before packaging thereby ensuring that the wines you buy at the liquor vendor are ready for your table and glass. The craft wines you make also need aging which typically occurs in the bottle or bag after you package the wine and take it home.

While this is perfectly acceptable it does have some drawbacks. For many the temptation to open the wine sooner as oppossed to later is ever present. The wine will be fine but we often hear the lament “…the last bottle was great! I wish I’d waited…!”

For others space is a problem, smaller premises mean less storage space. Its hard to get enough wine aged to perfection if you only have room for a few dozen bottles.

A third drawback of bottle aging “green wines” is that wine ages better in larger volumes.

Our barrel aging program helps solve all three of these common concerns. We aggregate the wine from 10 customers to fill a barrel. So we get 10 customers to sign up to make wine and then it goes into a community barrel for aging. Because we have limited barrel space we generally limit the barrel program to the Silver, Gold and Platinum wines. This is in part because these wines need longer aging times and also because they benefit most from the larger volume of the barrels.

The barrels we use are a mix of French, Hungarian and American oak. We buy them when the wineries are done with them because they are no longer “throwing oak”. While the wineries use the barrels for aging they also use the barrels to add the oak characteristics they are looking for to their wines. Our/your wines are oaked during the fermentation process and we generally don’t want to add anymore oak so an older used barrel is ideal for our purposes.

 Most of the barrels are used for red wines since we sell proportionately more red than white and secondly because, for the past few years, our most popular whites are Pinot Grigios and Pinot Gris which are typically unoaked. We also barrel age Port when we get enough people interested since Port comes in 11.25l increments it takes 20 Port customers to fill a barrel.

 While barrel aging certainly helps solve the problems we outlined above it is important to remember that all wines should be final aged in a bottle so while the barrels give aging a head start the wine will still need finishing time in the bottle. The length of time will depend on the wine and to a certain degree personal taste.

Check with us to see which wines we are lining up for the barrel aging program. These wines require patience since the barrel aging time varies from a minimum of 3 months to 7 to 8 months for the Port, these times are in addition to the initial 6 to 8 weeks needed to make the wine.

Over the past several years wines that have been barrel aged at The Wine Factory have won numerous medals at the International Amateur Wine Makers annual contest.

  • The Wine Factory

    649 Front St.
    New Westminster

    Map To Our Location

    NEW Hours

    Monday 10am - 7pm

    Tuesday CLOSED

    Wednesday 10am - 7pm

    Thursday 10am - 6:30pm

    Friday 10am - 5pm

    Saturday 9am to 5pm

    Sunday Noon to 4pm

    Stat Holidays CLOSED
    We close Easter Monday not Good Friday & we break for Christmas from Dec 24 to Jan 1