While finalizing our wines, our winemaking team tastes every barrel multiple times. Between the wine tasted and a small amount of evaporation (aka the “angel’s share”), some headspace (or ullage, in French) forms in the barrel. It’s important to fill this back up and decrease the amount of air the wine encounters, to avoid too much oxidization.
The wine used to top the barrels in this video is a blend of Clone 115 from Block K, Cruz from Block I, and Clone 115 from Block A. The multiple, well-rounded attributes of these specific selections make it ideal for topping barrels from Hallberg Ranch.
Evaporation can be limited by temperature, humidity, and air movement in the barrel room. This is why wine cellars are kept cool and humid. We check the barrels regularly for headspace to top off, limiting how much air is in the barrel. It just goes to show that even once barreled, making wine is a constant labor of love!