Oak barrels for wine: how to protect against TCA and odours

It's important to ensure your oak barrels for wine aren't exposed to the risk of contamination or odours in transit. Find out how Hillebrand Gori helped one company protect their oak barrels.

About the company

Cooper shipping French oak barrels for wine to several wineries around the world. 

The challenge shipping oak barrels for wine during COVID-19

Our customers needed to ship oak barrels for wine to the US in safe conditions, avoiding any risk of cross contamination. 

During to the COVID-19 breakout, freight forwarders were facing:

  • An undersupply of compliant equipment
  • Lack of time to keep the hygiene
  • Quality control standards
  • Shipment delay at ports



About oak barrels for wine and TCA risks

Haloanisoles are winemakers’ worse enemies. 

They are a family of volatile chemical compounds that can contaminate wines and cause musty or moldy aromas, an aroma that wine drinkers associate with defective corks. The most common in wine is 2,4,5-trichloroanisole (TCA)

TCA can also develop when certain compounds are in contact with wood products used in the winemaking process, such as oak barrels or chips. Any winery wants to avoid barrels taint with TCA. 

Coopers craft their barrels with the same care than winemakers create their wines. Oak barrels for wine are hand-made by “master cooper” and the process might require between two and four years with strict temperature, humidity and hygiene measures. 

Thus, coopers want to ensure that oak barrels reached destination with the same condition than left the cooperage.

The solution

Wood can be easily tainted in a container and requires a low humidity level during transit so that the barrel can maintain its properties. 

In certain periods, such as now due to the COVID-19 crisis, it is much more difficult to find appropriate containers or to have time to make all the analytics to ensure the cleanness and hygiene of the container.

Hillebrand Gori provides the optimum solution with its integral insulation liner. A tested barrier against TCA and other compounds contamination, protecting from container rain while reducing temperature and humidity shifts during transportation. 

The foil of our insulation liner has a water vapor transmissions rate (WVTR) smaller or equal to 2 g/m²/day which means a really low humidity permeability level (test method ASTM F 1249). It covers the full container, sealing the cargo inside a clean and non-tainted atmosphere. 

This patented technology ensures that the degree of humidity will not shift drastically ensuring a safer transportation for the oak barrels and any sensitive cargo. We conducted a test with the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) under the supervision of Scorpex Wine Services

This research showed that our insulation liner, made of fully recyclable material, is an effective barrier against halophenols haloanisoles, naphthalene and hydrocarbons compounds.

A 1 mm polypropylene film that allows the migration of taint compounds is generally used as standard against contamination. The research showed that theintegral insulation liner reduces migration to less than 4.6% of this standard against TCA, meaning that our solution is much more efficient to protect sensitive cargo from contamination.

Our expertise in wine can also help to protect other products related to the wine business, such as corks or barrels, that also need a special care within transportation.  

The results

Hillebrand Gori’s solution provides an efficient and effective way to ship oak barrels for wine or any other product that requires extra-protection from possible contaminants such as:

  • Hhaloanisoles
  • Halophenols
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Naphthalene 

It also provides safe transportation to ensure a safe crafting of the wines with an optimized container capacity (specific integral insulation liner version for container 40’ High Cube). 

Ready to protect your wine? 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

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