The beautiful colouring of reclaimed wine barrel oak is what motivates us toward particularly focusing our wood furniture production on this unique material.
French or American oak is commonly used in South African winemaking in order to impart desirable flavour, aroma and texture to our world-renowned wines. So not only are our products sourced from oak – but also a small piece of South African wine history.
After several years of use, wine barrels reach the end of their lifespan in wine production. Vinostein then treats the oak through our proprietary process to return the wood to its raw form, from which we can then craft beautiful wooden furniture and decorative items.
To make wine barrels, oak boards are dried for up to 36 months, after which they are heated, traditionally over an open fire, and, when pliable, are bent into the desired shape of the barrel and held together with iron rings. Wine barrels are used to age wine and impart vanilla, butter, spice and other delightful flavours to the wine. The flavour intensity is a function of the size of the wine barrel as well as the period of aging.
During this process, phenol derived from wood leaks into the wine. The porous nature of an oak barrel allows evaporation and oxygenation to occur. The typical 225-litre barrel can lose anywhere from 21 to 25 litres (of mostly alcohol and water) in a year through evaporation. This allows the wine to concentrate its flavour and aroma compounds derived from the wood. Each winemaker has his/her variations on the above basic process that gives rise to a variety of delicious wines.
Wine barrels have a limited lifespan in the production of wine and wineries usually release barrels after 3 to 5 years of use. Products such as flower boxes or bar furniture are often made from old wine barrels.
At Vinostein, however, the designers realised that this distinctive wood was simply too valuable to be used as a mere flower box. As oak imparted flavour to wine, the wine imparted dramatic colouring to the oak. Look carefully at any of Vinostein’s products. Notice the red-brown flames in the wood – derived from the wine aged in the barrel. Note the white spots that are characteristic to French oak. These unique features are not found in any other oak products.
At Vinostein’s factory in the Vaal Triangle, we carefully dismantled used wine barrels. The boards are treated with water and oils and carefully bent straight through a process developed by Vinostein’s engineers. The boards are then dried and used in the production of various designer furniture and décor items.
Vinostein’s passion for aesthetic design, as well as their love for wine, has led to this unique concept. As oak wood improved the wine, wine also improved the oak. Herein lies Vinostein’s secret.