Unfiltered took a tour of Seguin Moreau cooperage in Cognac recently to discover more about both the art and science of creating casks for cognac, wine and SMWS whisky

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Seguin Moreau cooperage sits on the edge of Cognac, the largest facility in the region with a history dating back to 1838. Unfiltered took a tour with Seguin Moreau’s Jean-Baptiste Comoy, with photographs by Aline Aubert.

The cooperage uses mostly French oak, selected primarily by its grain rather than location.

“Thanks to our research and development, we now understand that the grain of the oak has more influence on the chemical components going into the cask than where the wood comes from,” says Jean-Baptiste. “There is a high correlation between oak grain and the concentration of tannins, with less tannins in the fine or tight grain. We use coarse grain or wide grain for longer ageing, because it needs time to integrate and goes well with coarse eaux de vie. Fine grain lends itself to shorter ageing.”