Old Oak and New Tricks in Alquimie Magazine

2 November 2016. Words by YGOW.

Alquimie Edition 7 is out now, featuring a profile on the emerging Jarad Curwood of Chapter Wine, who was amongst the Young Gun of Wine Top 12 in 2015.

We were quite tickled by the punchline to the tale of how Curwood had a local woodworker fashion some 2,000 litre vats from reclaimed 100 year old oak. Here’s the extract:

Curwood has made a 2,000 litre vat from some old oak. As he showed his prototype, he recounts the story of how it came about with another tenant in the Woollen Mill: “Hugh Makin, who makes furniture from recycled timbers, he was making this table one day, and I walked in one day and said, ‘Whoa, that looks amazing. Is that Oak?’

‘Yeah, it’s French oak I got. I came across some old oak vats.’

“And I was like, ‘What do you mean, old oak vats?’

‘About 80 to 100 years old.’

‘OK… Stop making a fucking table out of it!’

“And he said, ‘don’t worry, there’s heaps more.’

‘What do you mean heaps more?’

‘Shitloads of them!’

‘Alright, well let’s have a look at it…’

Pointing to his vat, Curwood talks about the old oak, “It starts about 40-60 mm thick; and it’s almost 100 year old; seasoned in Australian wine. We just took off the inside layer, less than one millimeter. I thought they would impart a lot more flavor then they have, which was good that they haven’t, which was the intention.”

It was a big, tricky job. You can tell just by looking at the finished piece, which, bound with an iron rope-like girdle, has a charm to it. “I can’t believe they came together and worked. I said to him, ‘I think there’s a huge market in this if you want it.’

“He built that one and said, “nah, I think I’m just going to stick to my furniture.”


Alquimie Edition 7 also features 10 years of Young Gun of Wine; and journeys far and wide, to Scotland’s ghost distilleries; Switzerland, and the white chasselas grape; Italy’s island of Sant’Erasmo; London’s fine dining tables; and the terroir of California’s Wilamette Valley, to name a few of the places this latest edition of the magazine takes you.

Available throughout Australia in select newsagents and specialty stockists. For the eastern-seaboard, Alquimie recommend seeking out Books For Cooks (Vic), Beautiful Pages (NSW) or Scrumptious Reads (QLD).


Bookmark this job

Please sign in or create account as candidate to bookmark this job

Save this search

Please sign in or create account to save this search

create resume

Create Resume

Please sign in or create account as candidate to create a resume