Oak barrel rental services are emerging in Italy as the first choice for an increasing number of small wineries aging their wines.
Image from: Italian Wine Network
In Italy, oak barrels are used for between 3 and 5 years. Considering the current tough economic situation, it is more economical for small wineries to rent oak barrels on an annual basis than to buy them directly, and it also saves the cost of time and effort to dispose of the old barrels.
The brokerage company providing the rental service buys barrels in bulk from barrel manufacturing companies and rents them to wineries in need. Once the lease is up, the agency takes back the barrels and resells them to spirits, beer and other producers for reuse.
Currently, the Langhe region in Piedmont, Montalcino and Bolgheri in Tuscany, and the Valpolicella region in Veneto are among the more developed oak barrel rental services in Italy.