The Cooperage

 

Nicolas-Tarteret

Nicolas Tarteret, owner of Tonnellerie de MERCUREY, was raised in the wood business. His father Phillipe built and operated a major hardwood sawmill at Estillac, France for more than fifty years. The Tarteret family continues to own this property today, and Nicolas’ brother Bertrand owns an oak flooring mill. In 1990, Nicolas and his wife Carole built NT Bois, a dedicated stave mill at Aix-en-Othe in the Champagne region. Two years later they created Tonnellerie de MERCUREY in Burgundy.

At the inception of Tonnellerie de MERCUREY, Nicolas Tarteret collaborated with local winemaker Bruno Lorenzon. Bruno’s family owns vineyards in the village of Mercurey and makes wine at the family domaine. Bruno has acted as in house toasting consultant, and Domaine Lorenzon has served as the testing ground for de MERCUREY toasting regimes since the cooperage’s creation.

Tonnellerie de MERCUREY produces 12,500 barrels annually for the world. Having outgrown their production facility, Nicolas and his team broke ground on a new state-of-the-art cooperage at the village of Mercurey in mid-2008. De MERCUREY is dedicated to quality over quantity, and the new cooperage is designed to produce a maximum of 15,000 barrels annually.

mercurey-production-facility

In July 2009, Tonnellerie de MERCUREY moved into its new production facility. Five years in the making this state of the art cooperage is impressive below and above ground. The new cooperage is an ideal working environment for the MERCUREY coopers.

To tap into geothermal temperature control, multiple twenty meter deep shafts were dug below grade and backfilled with rock. The heating and cooling effects of these shafts are transferred to a thick rock layer installed underneath the building’s concrete floor. The net effect is a moderated temperature range minimizing energy consumption.

Roofline windows run the entire building perimeter, bathing the workshop with natural light. Water for the facility runs through dual top-of-the-line Merlin filtration units that eliminate all potential contaminants. Taking a lesson learned from his NT BOIS stave mill in Champagne, Nicolas installed two robust air evacuation units to filter and store all particulates outside the cooperage.

mercurey-toasting-room

In addition to the latest model Monot sanding and tooling machines de MERCUREY’S crown jewel is their new toasting room. With its own dedicated massive ventilation system, standing amongst the toasting barrels is like standing in an executive kitchen. The clean, temperature controlled space is a blend of tradition and innovation to allow perfect toasting over oak fires.

The management offices of the new cooperage overlook the final stages of sanding, hoop finishing, ISO protocol inspections, and laser marking.
Finished barrels are then whisked into an isolated temperature and humidity controlled space with an adjoining loading dock.

Continue to de Mercurey  Cooperage (page 2)

 

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