About KELVIN Wine Barrels



kelvin-about-1Founded in 1963 along the banks of the Kelvin River in Glasgow, Scotland, KELVIN COOPERAGE originally served the major distilleries in Scotland and Ireland. In 1991, Ed McLaughlin relocated the cooperage to Louisville, Kentucky.

Bordeaux and Burgundy type KELVIN wine barrels were first made at Louisville in 1995. Over the years, the coopers at KELVIN have developed and refined their wine barrel making techniques with very successful results.

Ed’s sons, Kevin and Paul McLaughlin direct all operations at the cooperage today. Winemakers can depend on the company’s competence, integrity and responsiveness.

The McLaughlin family business is dedicated, stable, and financially strong, a crucial requirement to maintain and fully age the oak inventories.


KELVIN’S location in Louisville is close to virtually all major white oak stave producers in the United States. With over forty-four inches of average rainfall, the cooperage aging yard is ideally placed to properly season oak wine staves and headings.

KELVIN sources the finest tight-grain, slow growth American oak from Kentucky and Minnesota. The cooperage offers 24 month or 36 month guaranteed naturally air-dried white oak origins.



Raw oak staves at KELVIN require inspection, planing, and jointing prior to bending. Via traditional brazeros, the raised barrels are carefully bent and slowly toasted over oak fires to achieve deep penetration without blistering or scorching. These toasting methods develop layered expressions of desirable oak tannins and phenols. Utilizing the power of water KELVIN’S  toast is a further evolution of the in-house long toasting regimes.

KELVIN Cooperage’s annual production is less 5,000 new wine barrels. All the major ingredients for superior wine barrel production are controlled here: consistent oak sourcing, impeccable air-drying programs, and careful fabrication techniques. This is limited production from the heartland where quality and craftsmanship prevail.