Significance of Oak Chips in Winemaking

It has been known for years that aging wine in oak barrels gives it a distinctive complexity. While winemakers can choose to use cheaper containers for this purpose, the wine will not have the same unique flavour and depth unless they also add oak chips. Also, over the years, the barrels can lose a bit of their effectiveness due to their age. The chips solve this problem as well.

The Different Stages Where You Can Add Oak Chips During the Winemaking Process

Research shows that you can receive different aromatic and flavour results depending upon the stage at which you add the oak chips. The typical stages for chip inclusion are:

• Alcoholic fermentation
• Malolactic fermentation
• Post-fermentation
• A combination of the above stages

Oak Chips Are an Economical, Easy Way to Add Significant Flavour and Complexity to Your Wine

Unlike oak barrels, oak chips are inexpensive to purchase for inclusion in your wine. This is especially important if you are starting a new wine venture on a limited budget. On top of this, you will not have the maintenance to perform that the barrels require. After all, you need to keep your oak barrels in top condition to receive optimal benefits and this can be a bit time-consuming. Thanks to oak chips, you can use containers that are easier to maintain for your wine aging.

You Gain Control Over Your Wine With Oak Chips

Another downside of depending only on oak barrels for your wine aging is that you have limited control over the benefits you receive from the oak. The oak chips provide you additional control over your results, even when you are using oak barrels. You should taste your wine frequently to learn the level of oak flavour it has attained to fine tune your results.

The Various Results That Oak Chips Can Produce in Wine

  • If the chips are added during malolactic fermentation, the wine will have less of the red fruit flavours in comparison to wines without the influence of oak
  • Oak chips help bring out vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and wood notes along with toasted ones if they have been toasted previous to use
  • Adding oak chips can reduce the astringency of your wine
  • Your wine can have additional body when you use these chips
  • Aroma results will depend upon the amount of chips that you prefer, and when you add them to the wine

Now that you understand the significance of oak chips in winemaking, turn to Grapeworks Consumables for your supply of them. We offer a wide assortment of them along with other winemaking supplies and various types of equipment.