There have been many historical and linguistic facts, over the centuries, which showed that Romanians considered the forest a blessed place, for shelter, as a source of life, as a refuge during the hard times of their history, and as a reliable ‘friend’.Long ago, during a battle between the Roman troops lead by Traian, and the local inhabitants (Daci) lead by Decebal, the historian Cassius Dio mentioned:
”Decebal ordered to cut down the trees of a young forest at the height of an average man. He dressed up the trunks in his army uniforms in order to give to the Romans the impression that he also had another army”.
An old name for forest in Romania is’Vlasia’, originating from the word ‘Valahia’, the large area from the southern part of the Carpathian Mountains.

Another important region of present Romania is Transilvania, which when translated means:”The country beyond the forests”. Transilvania is itself a ‘country of forests’.
The forests of Romania are very important and significant, covering an area of almost 6 million hectares, and are situated in and around the Carpathian Mountains.

The most suitable European oak barrel species are Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, which can be found in Romanian forests along the 45th parallel, the same longitude as the French forests of Nevers, Allier and Vosges. International tests used in France, Australia and USA, covering porosity, chemical composition and organoleptic properties of hydroalcoholic compounds, found Romanian oak quite acceptable.

Due to the Romanian climate and soil, the oak wood has some specific characteristics useful for the manufacture of wine barrels, and include:a straight trunk, slow growth, compact structure, fine porosity, and a good content of tannin and flavour components.

The process of manufacturing barrels has a very long and successful tradition in Romania, and many European wine producers have recognized the quality of the Romanian oak.

French coopers had already started to use Romanian oak wood from the 17th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the trade in oak wood for staves has been ever increasing.
At this point, mention should be made of the French Consul Billecoeq, who stated in 1849: “there is no such a good quality of wood as the one provided by the Romanian Principates”.
Recent French research concerning the oenological potential of European oak, underlined the fact that Romania does indeed belong to a small group of countries, which have the best oak wood for barrel


Romanian oak provides certain characteristics such as compact fibres, good wood porosity, an average content of extractable polyphenols and soft flavour compounds.

Red and white wine matured in Romanian oak barrels develops precious flavours, a light tannin content and good fruit preservation.

‘Vallach’ Romanian Oak Barrels are the successful result of a perfect liaison between Romanian tradition and high French technology, and are barrels showing care, art and craftsmanship.

The process of manufacturing barrels is very long, and all stages of this process have certain importance.

The oak must be very carefully chosen and split along the wood fibres. The oak for staves is smoothed and kept in the open air.

The phase of natural drying of the oak occurs under all climatic conditions of rain, wind, cold and heat. This seasoning period lasts a minimum of 24 months.

All this time is necessary for the extraction of bitter tannins and to enrich the flavour compounds of the oak.

Once the staves are ready, the barrel is formed by carefully controlled fire heating in conjunction with new machines and technology.
Depending upon temperature and duration, ‘Vallach’ Romanian Oak Barrels are available in 4 levels of toasting: Light, Medium, Medium Plus and Heavy.

The barrel is a unique piece of art and technology; a perfect assemblage of well-manufactured staves, a smooth surface and a toasted internal surface, ready to enrich wine.

It is now the role of the winemaker to realize the connection between the oak and the wine, to produce perfect harmony.