Oak Adjuncts

When Tonnellerie Radoux prepared itself to launch Pronektar, an operation of production of oak adjuncts in 2001, it was immediately decided that the emphasis would be on quality. When it comes to the quality of adjunct products there are two key points.

Sourcing of the Wood

The sourcing of wood for Pronektar is based on the same principles used for Radoux:

-Selection of wood coming from the best areas of France and America, with a search for fine grains (fine to medium). In fact, our by-products (especially chips) are coming from the parts of the staves that cannot be used for making barrels, as sizes are not adequate.

 

-Proper air seasoning that ensures the wood rids itself of most of its humidity (down to 15%), harsh tannins and is prepared to give a high aromatic contribution to the wines.

 

-Strict control of any type of external supply with precise specifications, the most important being that wood should never be treated.

Pronektar Packaging

The products (powder, granules, chips and staves) are packaged in aluminum bags.This is beneficial for two reasons:

It is a safe protection against any source of external pollution. Bags are sealed, and aluminum is not porous at all. There is no way that Pronektar products can be polluted during the freight or at the warehouse, as long as bags are not opened.
It is the best way to keep aromas “fresh” for a long period of time. Pronektar chips and staves could be kept from one harvest to the other without any problem.

The Toasting Process

It is, in a way, very different from the toasting of barrels but at the same time very similar:
Difference:
Toasting is performed through a convection system (as opposed to the radiation system used for barrels), which means the toasting is done in ovens with ventilated hot air, making sure the products are toasted through--up to the heart of the wood (chips and staves).

Similarity:
Toasting of Pronektar chips and staves respects the curves of temperature that Radoux is known for when toasting barrels. A gentle start, then a steady rise in temperature up to a reasonable peak that is best for producing the best balance of aromas (vanillin, octolactones, furanes, phenols…), and not going to the very damaging production of Benzopyrène (a very dangerous molecule for health).

During the toasting process, Pronektar products benefit highly from the automatic temperature controls on the ovens which control at all times the temperature of the wood. This is the only way to secure a good rise in temperature and the best extraction of all compounds from oak.

The ovens for Pronektar oak chips are very unique in the way they were designed. The method is very close to the true “torrefacteur”, the process of toasting of coffee. With exactly the same principles, the equipment was adapted to toasting of wood.