Flexcube Offers an Alternative Amidst French Oak StrugglePierre-Benn de Villiers
Following the article in the Daily Wine News on the 10th of August 2021, I would like to introduce you to an alternative to traditional oak barrels:
Flexcube – Evolution is an innovative product that is designed to produce fine wine, time and time again
with incredibly low costs compared to oak barrels.
Traditional oak barrels are getting more expensive, have a limited lifespan, and have a large environmental footprint in terms of oak and water. Direct Barrels Pty Ltd trading as Flexcube produces a maturation vessel that was invented and manufactured in Victoria, Australia for over ten years. It is the answer to the high cost of oak barrels and unreliable supply chains.
Cost and quality motivated us to create a new type of vessel with all the advantages of traditional barrels but none of the common problems. It put the winemaker in control of the winemaking process and removes the depreciation variables found in wine from barrel to barrel.
Compact Modular Design
Flexcube – Evolution is a compact modular design. The maturation cube is patent protected and made from food-grade, oxygen permeable polymer material. This means your wine gets the consistent oxygen it needs to develop its full character. It has a purpose-built neck, lid and locking ring to ensure there is no wine or gas leakage. A catch bottle is fitted with a one-way valve that is used to hold any wine or gas that is expelled from the maturation cube. Sampling the wine is made easy with a recessed sampling tap and a 50mm discharge tap located at the bottom of the cube. Inside the cube, there is a drain sump that ensures all wine drains out.
The angel’s share is now a thing of the past. Flexcube gives you complete control over how much oak is used. The design ensures that all the oak in the cube gets exposed to the wine. With barrels, most of the oak gets wasted because wine is only exposed to one surface of the barrel. Only barrel quality oak staves are used, that provide the same extractives that contribute to a wine’s colour and taste at much less cost.
Flexcube mimics the process in an oak barrel with far fewer uncontrolled variables. Flexcube’ s modular design saves cellar space as it allows storage of 4,000 litres of wine in just 1.2 x 1.2 meters of space, barrels which would need 10 times the space for the same volume of wine. Flexcube is far easier to clean and uses just 10% of the water used with oak barrels.
To make the same amount of wine: Flexcube uses one oak tree whereas conventional winemaking uses 13 oak trees. Using Flexcube saves oak forests, saves you money and helps the environment at the same time. The cubes have over a 20-year lifespan and are fully recyclable.
Flexcube – Evolution has been designed specifically to produce premium wine. We have asked leading winemakers to sample wines from Flexcube against traditional barrels. Blind tasting was used and Flexcube wine was found to be equivalent or better than traditionally made wine.
To find out more about our new and improved Flexcube, have a look at this video.