About Us


Jim-AboutThe Boswell Company is an entrepreneurial wine barrel business in San Rafael, California. Our staff consists of Jim Boswell, Michael Weyna, Julie Pickering, and Sally Fish.

We offer new barrels from Tonnellerie de MERCUREY in Burgundy, Tonnellerie Jean-Louis BOSSUET in Cognac, Eclat by VINEA in Cognac, and Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky.



History of the Company


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In 1975, the company began selling new Sirugue barrels from Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy. Dick Graff of Chalone Vineyard mentored our activities in the early days. Subsequent cooperage sales pioneering included Tonnellerie Radoux, Mendocino Cooperage, Tonnellerie Berger, and Roberts & Son.

After more than 30 years experience, our company’s mission is to supply wine making clients with new French and American oak barrels from family owned companies who each produce less than 80 barrels a day. These moderately sized companies operate with integrity and traceability because their oak is sourced directly.  Air-dried regimes are properly executed and toasting procedures are like an art.  Our coopers are wonderful alternatives to mammoth industrial cooperages.

In 1981, Jim’s brother-in-law, Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, suggested our company pioneer silicone rubber barrel bungs to the American wine industry. The wine bung revolution followed when almost every winery in the country bought Boswell silicone bungs and replaced their wooden bungs. Our premium bungs remain the industry standard to this day.

In 1987, our company introduced head toasting of barrels to the American wine industry. Prior to that time, no heads were ever fired. Today, head toasting is practiced extensively with American oak wine barrels and less with French oak.

Other innovations The Boswell Company introduced to the wine industry include: stainless steel stirring rods, French glass wine thieves and sponge rubber hose cleaning balls.

In 2010, The Boswell Company introduced VINEA-Aromoak oenological wood products. These top quality French oak alternatives are based on more than 19 years of history and development by Jean Christophe Varron at Bordeaux.

The Boswell Company is service oriented, committed to quality, and responsive under any circumstances. Communication with our French coopers, Tonnellerie de Mercurey and Tonnelerie Jean-Louis Bossuet, is direct and without intermediaries. Our goal is to serve discriminating winemakers who enjoy the results of using good barrels from specialized coopers. Additionally, doing business with Boswell Company should be a pleasure for the mind, body and spirit.