This paper examines the variability of some structural characteristics (ring width, earlywood width, texture, large vessel tyloses, multiseriate rays, total porosity) of oak wood which may affect casks properties. Sixty-six stave wood samples were taken from eleven trees of sessile or pedunculate oaks from four French forests. For all the structural wood characteristics measured, a high variability among the samples was observed. Significant correlations were observed between ring width ("grain") and the other structural characteristics. However, except for the strong correlation with earlywood width, there remains a high level of residual variability. The influence of forest origin was comparatively lower than the species effect while differences among trees remained the principal source of oak wood structure variation for the same ring width.
- Copyright 1997 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture