P r o d u c t i o n o f b a r r e l s

The advantage of the company is the complete process of wine production: from its own vineyards, through the production of barrels, to the production of top quality wine.

The company’s wine cellar has a capacity of 22.5 million liters, while the capacity of the cognac-type beverage cellar is 15 million liters, of which 6 million is in oak barrels (12,000 oak barrels of 500l for aging distillates made in Rubin’s pint workshop), which makes it one of the largest wooden cellars in Europe.

In 1958, for aging and aging of the first quantities of Vinjak, 200 barrels were procured, made of quality Slavonian oak in ŠIK “Spačva” near Vinkovci, and then in 1959, its own paint shop in Rubin was formed. The well-known master of the kacher craft, Božidar Zornić Džida, made the first series of barrels using first-class oak purchased as material from the villages below Homolje. The space under the large basement began to be filled with oak barrels in which Vinjak was aged, so over time, that image became really impressive and Rubin could be recognized by it. Hundreds of barrels were harmoniously arranged, bathed in the sun, which was beneficial in the Vinjak technology at the time.

Even today, after 60 years, the diligent pinters of Rubin make the highest quality barrels in which wines are aged.

M A N U F A C T U R E O F W O O D E N B A R R E L S

For each of our barrels, the story begins in a hundred-year-old oak forest. Our imperative in the production of barrels is top quality, which we provide with complete control of the process – we carefully follow the path of oak from the forest to the finished barrel. At every stage: from the selection and storage of oak timber in a round condition, through wood processing, production, storage, drying and selection of oak arches, to the production and barricading of barrels, we pay maximum attention. In this way, we guarantee that each of our barrels is of the highest quality.

S E L E C T I O N O F O A K A N D P R O C E D U R E W I T H M A T E R I A L S I N A R O U N D C O N D I T I O N

Our barrels are produced exclusively from Serbian sessile oak (Quercus Sessiliflora or Quercus petraea), which shows an extremely positive impact on the development of wine and brandy. Oaks over 80 years old are selected, and the felling of trees is done exclusively in the dormant phase of the tree saps: November, December, January. After felling, the oak material in a round condition (logs) is kept on the Rubin’s plot, with control and maintenance of constant humidity of the wood, in order to initiate the development of desirable and prevent the development of undesirable microflora and tree cracking.

MANUFACTURE AND STORAGE OF OAKS “RAINBOW”

After a certain time, the logs are cut into shorter pieces from which long (untreated boards from which barrels are formed) are obtained by splitting or scraping. Each “rainbow” is split (scraped) from the log separately, and in that way the fiber construction of the log remains undamaged, so a first-class “rainbow” is always obtained. Rainbows mature in the open for at least two and at most four years. Weather conditions, constant temperature change, wind, summer and winter precipitation, remove contaminants and excess coarse (bitter) tannins.

MANUFACTURE OF BARRELS

After natural drying, the rainbows are additionally processed – a thin surface layer is removed, in order to gain a clear insight into the health condition and quality of the wood. After processing and discarding any bad rainbows, they are selected on the basis of the interval between annual rings, so rainbows with a smaller distance between annual rings are used for the production of wine barrels, while rainbows with a larger distance between annual rings are used for the production of barrels for brandy and wine distillate. . After the selection, rainbow processing is approached – respecting the centuries-old tradition, the pinsters (barrel masters) shape the rainbows so that they are the widest in the middle and that they narrow slightly towards the ends.
On the slopes, the edges of a precisely determined angle are made, so that when the rainbows are placed next to each other, they form a roller. Then a strong steel hoop is placed over one end of the formed arcs. After that, the bow is bent and the barrel is formed – the barrel is placed over the fire and so the wood is heated. During heating, the barrel is soaked on the inside with water, which actually steams and softens the wood, in order to avoid cracking the rainbow. Then a rope or cord is wrapped around the lower part of the rainbow (wide part), with which the rainbows are tightened and bent into a well-known barrel shape. When the barrel is bent into a recognizable shape, additional temporary hoops are placed. Permanent galvanized hoops are placed later. At this stage the barrel remains open on both sides.
On the formed barrel, a fillister is made on the inner side at both ends, into which the edges of the wooden (oak) lid enter later during installation. The lids are also made of parts of oak arches between which a thin reed (bulrush) is placed, which is used for sealing, so that the barrel does not leak wine or brandy.

B A R R I Q U E I N G ( B U R N I N G ) P R O C E S S

Before the lid is placed, the barrel is barriqued (thermally treated) – it is placed over the fire again (live flame from oak slats) and slightly burns from the inside. Depending on what kind of barrel the winemaker ordered, the treatment time will be shorter or longer.

This phase of barrel production in Rubin is given special attention and is approached with filigree accuracy. Depending on the client’s wishes, we have precisely defined treatments that provide the following degrees of barriqueing (burning):

light toast,
medium toast,
medium plus toast and
heavy toast

The treatment time, ie the intensity of the flame and the temperature are strictly controlled by thermal probes which are fixed at two points inside the barrel. Properly done thermal treatment shapes such aromas in the wood, which in the barrels during ripening complement and enrich the character of the wine and brandy that are stored in them.

F I N I S H I N G W O R K I N T H E P R O D U C T I O N O F B A R R E L S

After the burning is completed, a cover is placed, which can also be burned at the request of the customer. Then the barrel is ground (polished), new galvanized hoops are placed, an opening is drilled, the tightness of the barrel is checked under steam pressure, and after the quality is confirmed, each barrel is packed and delivered in a protective package.