To shape its barrels, Tonnellerie Berthomieu/Ermitage employs a unique technique that uses steam to bend the staves. This has multiple benefits for the wood :
The intensive exposure to steam has a final “purifying” effect on the wood, helping to eliminate any bitter tannins : in fact, research carried out by the Exact Laboratory in 2014 showed a 94% reduction in the quantity of ellagitannins in the wood after steam treatment.
This steam treatment gently dilates the pores of the wood, allowing the final toasting to penetrate right to the heart of the staves.
Thanks to this pre-toast treatment, the toasting phase can be long and gentle, which preserves and respects the original fruit characters of the wine.
The levels of toasting proposed by Tonnellerie Berthomieu/Ermitage range from Blonde (light), through Medium, Medium Plus, up to Heavy.