French Oak

Forests, Coopers and Techniques
With Roger Bohmrich MW
Tuesday Oct 1 2013


French oak is utilized for premium quality white and red wines universally around the globe. This seminar categorizes the species of oak used for barrels and the French forests where oak trees are grown, principally Nevers, Allier, Tronçais, Vosges and Limousin. Leading tonnelleries or cooperage houses are reviewed along with production techniques such as splitting, seasoning and toasting. The importance of wood origin is compared to the cooper’s signature. Common barrel types from the pièce to the demi muid are described. The session concludes with a discussion of flavor compounds derived from oak barrels and their relationship with processing procedures.

Presenter: Roger Bohmrich MW

In 1993, Roger became one of the first Americans to pass the Master of Wine (“MW”) examination administered by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. For ten years he dedicated himself to the MW cause, first as Education Coordinator of the North American educational program, then as Chairman of the No. American Advisory Board, leading the formation of the non-profit Institute of Masters of Wine (No. America), where he served three terms as its first President.

Roger has worked for two national importers, last as Senior Vice President-Marketing for Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York, where he directed a team in brand management, advertising, and public relations. He acted as buyer and liaison with wineries in a dozen countries, and also developed training and education for the firm’s staff and wholesale clients.

More recently, he set up the U.S. affiliate of Millesima, S.A., Europe’s leader in direct sales of fine wines to consumers via mail order and the internet. At present, he is an independent educator, speaker and consultant. Visit Roger's website:

His articles and writing have appeared in Wine Business Monthly, Santé Magazine for restaurant professionals, and The Business of Wine – An Encyclopedia. Roger also provides the “Wine Q&A” replies to questions posted on

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