The Times, Europe
By Robin Young
WINEMAKING is a tricky and complicated business, and winemakers are constantly in search of ways to make their work easier and their results more palatable at less expense of time, energy and money.
The use of oak chips to imbue cheap wine with oak flavour originated in Australia, where winemakers tended two decades ago to take a very practical and pragmatic attitude towards their craft. At that time there was a vogue for the sweetish, toasty, vanilla flavour which ageing in new oak barrels imparts.