Rijk's Maintenance and Sanitation of Wine Barrels

Oak barrels used for wine storage can last for years with diligent maintenance. Always keeping the barrel full of wine is the best way; however, there are periods between vintages when barrels are inevitably empty. Keeping a barrel oxygen-free by adding sulphur means lessening the chance for the growth of bacteria and mould. Firstly the empty barrel has to be thoroughly rinsed to rid the barrel of residue, like tartrate crystals.