About Sirugue

TONNELLERIE SIRUGUESince 1985 Tonnellerie Sirugue has been represented in Australasia by Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda Vineyard, Beechworth in Victoria’s North East. 

Operating now as Sirugue Australia Pty Ltd, the company is represented by a Sales Manager and Rick Kinzbrunner who works in a consultative role, offering technical and winemaking assistance.

“I first became aware of Sirugue barrels in 1982 while working at Simi Winery in Sanoma County California.  At this time I had already established my vineyard in Beechworth with Cabernet, Chardonnay and a small amount of Pinot Noir.  Thinking ahead a few years, I realized I was going to need a fairly universal barrel, but one that was especially good with Chardonnay which was my main focus.

After tasting through the many types of barrel at Simi, I came to the conclusion that I preferred Sirugue because it gave the overall flavour profiles and integration I was looking for”.  Rick Kinzbrunner

Sirugue France

Tonnellerie Sirugue was first founded in 1903 by Felix Sirugue and is still a family owned and operated business located in the beautiful Burgundy region of France at Nuits-Saint-Georges.   The family’s fifth generation descendants Alain and Cecile Sirugue operate and work at the cooperage, where all oak timbers sourced are naturally air dried for a minimum period of 24 months.

Alain and Cecile continue the tradition of their forbears in hands on contact with the stave supplier, ensuring only the best oak is used.  During our many visits to the cooperage Sirugue Australia constantly monitors the production and advises on requirements for the Australian wine industry.

Tonnellerie Sirugue :: Burgundy region of France

The Cooper

Alain Sirugue :: Tonnellerie Sirugue France“I’m talking to you about my craft because I have a passion for it. A family craft, as my great grandfather was a cooper. An old craft as you can see from my description of its history, but a craft which has survived the powerful technical and mechanical revolutions of our time.  Around 1855 power-driven tools allowed faster work with machines adapted to the trade, but it remains manual, craftsman orientated, attractive and creative.  The cooper must have a lively mind, skill, motivation and above all, love of hard work.  He must like building, shaping, transforming and recreating the same piece every day which however, is never identical.  The hand of the cooper is a signature of his work.  It is the result of the inventive, learned imagination of the cooper in love with the discipline of form and the satisfaction of a job well done which is a pleasure to the eye.  Each barrel gives a feeling of renewal, the sensation is strong or week by almost imperceptible degrees but nonetheless true.  It is a quite rare phenomenon perpetuated by only the most prestigious crafts.

The cooper has character, he is self-willed, active, cheerful and enjoys life.  He is occasionally bawdy and likes witticism.  He likes to be respected, he has preserved the art of nobility, the traditions and the wisdom of the past.  The cooper fashions and personalizes his work.  He shows individuality in his reflection and his know-how which are expressed as if engraved in his work.  His personality emerges from each of his creations.  He loves doing things well which is as important as doing the job.”
Alain Sirugue - The Barrel from A–Z - Tonnellerie Sirugue France

Rick Kinzbrunner – Giaconda Vineyard

Rick Kinzbrunner was a mechanical engineer who became interested in wine in the early 1970’s. During the next ten years he travelled to wine-growing areas overseas to research and learn.  Following a short stay in New Zealand he went on to study at California’s Davis University and worked with some of the Napa and Sonoma Valley’s most respected wineries including Stag’s Leap, Simi and Mantanzas Creek. In Europe he worked a ‘stage’ with the Mouex Group, co-owners of the fabled Chateau Petrus.

On return to Australia he worked as assistant winemaker at Brown Brothers  Milawa 1980-1982.  He purchased land near the old Everton Hills Vineyard and in 1982 commenced planting the classic varieties.  Further plantings have progressively occurred with the origjnal vineyard now under 3ha and more recent plantings totaling 6ha.  In 1985 he became Australasian agent for importing Tonellerie Sirugue barrels.

“You sense that while a liberal dose of good luck and intuition played an early role in the history of Giaconda, it was well determined winemaking philosophy that set it apart”  The Age Epicure 2005