The best material for the production of firkins is obtained from oak of blagun sort (Quercus frainetto). It is widely distributed in Bulgaria to 1000 meters of elevation above sea – level in the plains or on the mountain flanks with a south, west or south – west exposure. The wood is circular porously and coarsely. The blagun is narrow and light yellowish, and the kernel is wide and yellowish – brown. The wood is solid, heavy, with a volume weight of 870 – 960 kg/m3 and is much more durable than the others sorts of oak.

 The technological process starts with the selection of the most qualitative wood, which corresponds to all European standards and requirements. After that begins a process of cutting up and siding. The prepared material is then stored and shaped in figures. It’s left on a natural desiccation for a period of 18 months. Depending on the firkin’s volume, the length, the thickness and the number of staves are selected. After that the operation of collection follows. The thermal treatment is extremely important for the firkin’s functioning. It is accomplished with the same material as the stave’s one. The heating by fire with a variable temperature changes the oak’s composition with the purpose of opening the polysaccharides up and enduing with a specific flavor and color of the oak. That has a special importance for the particular flavor and color of the wines. The following thermal treatments are accomplished: L, M, M+, H. The final stage of the treatment is to put the bottoms of the firkins and to put the firkin’s appearance into final shape.





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