The oak used to create Canadian Oak Cooperage wine barrels is the white oak species “Quercus alba,” which grows abundantly only in a very narrow region of southern Ontario.
The Canadian Oak Cooperage hopes to create a greater awareness and appreciation of this rich Canadian resource. The trees that are used to make Canadian oak barrels are cut from sustainably managed Canadian forests.
Sustainable forest management embodies the principle of "no tree before its’ time." In sustainably managed forests there is a mixture of young trees coming up in the understory, mature trees in full reproductive and productive vigor, and old trees whose growth has slowed. These older trees often block sunlight and rainfall from the younger trees in the understory, and when over-mature, should be removed.
White Oak "Quercus alba" is a North American species, distributed from southern Canada to the lower flood plain of the Mississippi River. In Canada, it grows only in Ontario, roughly south of a line connecting Toronto and Sarnia. Although pockets of white oak can be seen along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and as far north as Peterborough.