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Back in the day, kiwi winemakers weren't afraid to go native

European winemakers have been using oak barrels for centuries, and they still play an important part in the winemaking process.

But New Zealand grown oak is a rarity. While we’ve since moved to concrete and then stainless steel for storage, in the early 1950s winemakers like Josip Babich turned to the native totara tree as a local alternative for storage barrels. This totara stave is from a 4500-litre barrel that was carefully dismantled and numbered so it could be easily reassembled, should we need it again.

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