What more can be said about the wines of Bordeaux? The region’s greatest wines and châteaux enjoy worldwide renown and recognition. After presenting the H&A Agency in Burgundy, we would like to introduce our very first H&A Agency based in Bordeaux.
Wine barrels: spotlight on H&A Bordeaux
The H&A Location Group was founded in 2004. The group grew quickly, rising to meet the myriad challenges facing wine producers. The main issues concerned barrel costs and management across the various estates.
It was only natural that H&A Location would become a pioneering force in the barrel management market in France and abroad.
The Group’s first agency, which is also the head office, is located in Bordeaux, a region known for its legendary wines.
Our Bordeaux office is divided into 2 groups, which focus their attention on the Left Bank (with the Médoc) and the Right Bank (with Saint Emilion), respectively.
This division allows us not only to remain closer to our clients, but also gives us a better understanding of the region and its market. It also allows our various teams to work together if they need to.
Today, there are a number of other H&A agencies in France and abroad. See how our branches in Burgundy and Italy work in detail.
Currently, the Bordeaux Agency is the largest in the H&A Group, with around 650 clients. Every year, between 120,000 and 130,000 barrels are collected, recycled, and resold by the Bordeaux agency.
Oak barrels: what is special about the Bordeaux region?
Bordeaux is world famous for its Grand Cru Classé wines and vineyards. The wine-making region is split into three parts, along the lines of the rivers running through it: the Garonne and the Dordogne. The wines on the Left Bank include the famous Médoc and Graves,
while the Right Bank offers gems from the Libournais such as Saint-Emilion and Pomérol. Lastly, the Entre-Deux-Mers region is renowned for both its sweet and dry white wines.
The barrels which we use are made from French oak. In Bordeaux, they have a capacity of 225L, making them smaller than those used in Burgundy. Additionally, certain clients may use much larger barrels, depending on their specific needs. In any case, our clients have a completely free choice out of the selection of barrels available.
Wine barrels: H&A Location: a service adapted to each client
The main objective of the H&A Group is to help our clients manage their barrels, from delivery to departure.
To do this, they can take advantage of a barrel rental contract. We purchase the barrels selected by a client, according to their specific needs. Once our teams have bought the barrels, we draw up a barrel rental contract with this client.
The contract is flexible enough to change with the winemaker’s needs on a year-to-year basis.
This rental service is a major financial asset to our clients. The objective is to make it easier for our clients to stay on top of the financial burden of purchasing a barrel.
After labour costs, barrel purchases represent the second-largest financial cost for the owner of a wine estate.
Rented barrels can be reused to mature wine for one to three years. They are then sold on to distilleries, which use them in the production of spirits.
The Bordeaux Agency has its own dedicated team which handles the resale of barrels to the spirits market.
The Bordeaux Agency: exporting barrels around the world
At the Bordeaux Agency, there is a seasoning programme for older barrels. Barrels which can no longer be used to mature wine are sent to Portugal or Italy.
They are then filled with fortified wines, which will then age for several months or years. Once these wines are fully matured, the barrel will be impregnated with these wines and their aromas. The barrels can then be sold on to distilleries, which will use them to age certain spirits such as whisky, cognac or rum.
On an international level, Bordeaux barrels are in high demand from a number of distilleries. There are a number of reasons for this demand, not least that Bordeaux wines have been world-renowned for centuries. As such, certain distilleries ask for barrels used by a particular estate. The spirits aged within these barrels will then be imbued with the fragrance of the wine.
If you would like any further information, please contact us using the online contact form.