Tonnellerie Taransaud is based in Cognac, France. Taransaud makes barrels, puncheons, tanks, ovals, etc. for the world of wine.
A little history: We know that there was a Taransaud making barrels in the Cognac region in 1652. It's a long history, so I'll just discuss the highlights:
1932-Tonnellerie Taransaud is founded.
1980-Mel Knox starts selling Taransaud barrels.
1997-- Henri de Pracomtal buys the cooperage. He builds a new cooperage and doubles its size while strengthening quality and developing traceability procedures in all areas.
Barrels and tanks made by Tonnellerie Taransaud can be summed up in a few words: consistency, reliability, traceability, and luxury.
Taransaud has a few simple rules for making barrels:
2. Tight-grained wood is air dried 12 months for every 10 mm of stave thickness. Wider-grained wood is dried a bit longer.
3. Toasting is done by a team of workers who use thermocouples and computers to ensure uniformity.
Outside auditing done by Bureau Veritas confirms the French origin and seasoning of wood. Wood, barrels and shipping containers are tested so you don't have to worry about TCA, TBA, etc. First the wood is tested before it goes into the aging yard. Then it is tested before and after manufacture. Finally, the containers are tested before they are loaded, so all their work (and yours!) doesn't get ruined by a faulty container.
Taransaud has traceability on everything. On every barrel they inscribe a control number in two places. We can use this number to trace toasting, wood sourcing, etc.
None of this work comes cheap. Yet I never have enough of these barrels.