Demptos Napa oak barrels take their luxurious character from hand-selected North American quercus alba oaks, exclusively from within a 130km2 region in the state of Missouri.
While Demptos Napa is based in Napa, California, our American Oak is sourced exclusively from one supplier in Cuba, Missouri.
This goes back to the early 1980s when the Scottish Whisky Industry commissioned a leading expert, in the field of oak, to find the best site to source for barrel production. His conclusion was a 50 mile radius centred in Cuba, Missouri in the USA was the most suited for barrel production. The McGinnis factory had a milling operation very close to the town of Cuba, Missouri.
Initially the relationship was between Phillip Demptos the part owner with the Jaeger family (of Rutherford Hill Winery) to form Demptos Napa. After Phillip’s death in the late 1980s the François family bought out the Jaeger family and established an exclusive arrangement for supply with the McGinnis’s in Missouri, which still exists today.
This Southern United States location was selected as the ideal site for sourcing oak because of myriad factors.
- An abundance of hard country to stress the trees and promote slow, yet productive and strong growth.
- This gives rise to a tight and fine grain.
- The climatic condition in this region is perfect for seasoning oak staves
The region is perfectly located due to similarities to our stave mills in Europe.
- Hot and humid heavy rainfall.
- Blanket snow to stress the oak.
- The consequence is excellent seasoning to ensure the more overt character associated with American oak is eliminated.
Single forest selection of only the tightest grain and subsequent seasoning for a minimum of 36 months minimises the levels of cis-oak and trans-oak lactone present in Demptos Napa American oak barrels.
We recommend toasted heads to further diminish these oak derived volatile compounds and to lessen apparent flavours of sweet, spicy coconut.
For the winemaker, this means a flavour profile more attuned to the elegant structural characteristics seen in our French Oak barrels.
We supply Demptos Napa American Oak barrels in 225 litre Bordeaux Export, and 300 litre Hogshead Export styles.
Read more about Classic Oak Products’ supply of Demptos Napa barrels here.