What types of barrels are used for Riverbench wines?

At Riverbench, we approach oak as a winemaking tool to enhance the finesse and elegance of our cool climate varietals. We use 100% French oak barrels with Medium to Medium+ toasts. We take advantage of both new and neutral oak to find a balance between fruit and wood characters. Our estate wines tend to use 20 to 40% new oak, which allows bright fruit notes to shine through. Our single-clone Pinot Noirs and specialty Chardonnays however, appreciate a little more new oak to draw out their complexities. You may find it interesting that we pair single coopers (barrel makers) with each single-clone Pinot Noir. Traditions aside, there is no exact recipe. Each year the vintage tells a different story, so we too use an ever changing oak program to help give each individual wine a voice. As our winemaker, Clarissa Nagy, likes to say, “[oak] is an accent or highlighter, rather than a mask.” 

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