Start your evening with cocktails served on a small Provence platter.View Proucts
Early beginnings of Provence and Vintage Platters:
Wine barrels of today began their life over 200 years ago as a humble acorn in one of many designated forests in France. Imagine Napoleon could well have passed through one of these forests on Desiree or one of his many Arab horses. This is just to place in context the age of the wood utilized in the making of a Provence or vintage platter.
French law calls for any oak tree utilized in the making of wine barrels must be harvested after 200 years. Quite the auspicious beginning for the wines we may have enjoyed last night.
"THE BEST FRIEND ON EARTH OF MAN IS THE TREE. WHEN WE USE THE TREE RESPECTFULLY AND ECONOMICALLY, WE HAVE ONE OF THE GREATEST RESOURCES ON THE EARTH."- FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
About provence platter:
Provence platters are completely reconstructed from the ends of French Oak wine barrels. After aging wine for four seasons in the Bordeaux or California wine country, we disassemble and completely rebuild by hand in our workshop in upstate New York. They are planed and joined so that there is zero tolerance between the 8-9 planks making up each platter and held together with a sophisticated Swiss woodworking component called "biscuits." This extra step eliminates cracks or serious warpage occuring. Provence platters are the Rolls Royce of the industry.
The platter is then coated three times with food safe beeswax to protect the wood. Each platter retains the original marks when it's constructed for it's original purpose, many popular marks that are available are: "Francois Freres," "Seguin Moreau," "Nadalie," plus numerous other markings. The iron handles are forged in our Brooklyn workshop, every step by hand the old fashion way, heating the iron and hand bending in a series of jigs.
Provence platters are generally 20-22" in diameter, there are two other sizes available, Small: 18" and Large: 23". Usually, the underside of the Provence platter is still wine stained from its first four years of life aging your favorite wine.
Circa 1930's Coopers creating french oak wine barrels:
Coppersmiths heating and bending the oak sides of the barrel, also commonly called staves, physically forcing the iron hoops over the French oak wine barrel. For the large part of the 20th century this work was carried on outside now they are made in sophisticated computer run workshops. The finished barrels would be shipped off to Bordeaux or Burgundy or to the Napa valley by ship. Many French third or fourth generation coppersmiths migrated to California and trained locals this artisan craft.
About vintage platter:
Vintage platters are a "one of a kind" product, than the less expensive Provence platter. They often originate from older wine barrels that may have aged wine 20 years ago or alternately they will have unique or rare markings on them. They go through exactly the same construction process as the Provence platters, please see notes on Provence platters.
The patina of vintage platters can vary from a natural oak color through a honey patina or deeply weathered oak. Vintage platters are mostly available in the honey patina to the darker vintage. Please specify your choice if you wish. One other available style is when the top surface of the platter is wine stained, so you have a variance of natural wood and red wined stained on the serving surface of your vintage platter. Sizes vary from 21-23" in the vintage platters.
The first time I stepped inside a wine barrel making workshop was in Napa valley, it was literally like stepping into a Fellini movie. 10’ foot high flames jumping out of at least 30 barrels, men in leather aprons with the sound of hammers striking iron ringing around this smoke filled cavernous room the size of a football field.
The inside of the barrels are charcoaled to assist in how much oak flavor is imparted into the grapes as they age into wine. Often you will see the letters “MT” this means medium toast. These markings help the wine maker choose which barrel to utilize for different wines. We try to keep all these markings when we re-purpose the used wine barrels into our platters so you can enjoy some of the original history of the oak wine barrel.
In a calmer part of the coopers workshop a craftsman is measuring out the exact diameter of the top and bottom of the barrel - the head - he uses a giant compass as accuracy is paramount to ensure a perfect air tight fit when the staves close around the top and bottom lids. The wine barrel must be perfectly sealed to ensure no air invades the aging process otherwise the wine would spoil.
About vintage rectangle Platter:
The Vintage Rectangle platter is a hybrid of our original Provence platter. A very well known collector of our platters placed a special order for 65 vintage platters to be the centered piece on each table at his daughter's wedding at the family's compound in Bridge Hampton. We found these special platters in the Barossa Valley, a beautiful wine country region of South Australia.
Three weeks before the wedding date, I had an urgent message on a Sunday evening to rush to the Tribeca head quarters of the wedding planner. On my arrival, I was informed that the wedding tables were no longer round as planned and at the last minute had been changed to rectangles. The round platters would no longer fit. The client, the father of the bride said, "Let's cut them down into rectangle shapes so they will fit the tables." So, we did exactly that and it has become a popular design when space is an issue. Typically, 22" long and 10-12" wide.
A typical wine barrel cave in Burgundy:
Around 80 B.C. the Romans dug into the ground below Reims, France, in the Champagne region to mine salt and chalk. Hundreds of years later, in the 1600s, local winemakers found a new use for these caves: Since these were the days before artificial refrigeration, the caves provided the chilly temperature, humidity control, and protection from sunlight and vibrations needed for perfect maturation. Wine cellars and caves have a similar subterranean history, when wine was buried in ceramic jugs during fermentation. Later, catacombs were used as wine storage, until the French began digging dedicated wine caves. Present-day care of wine incorporates more modern cooling and storage methods, as pictured here in this beautiful cave packed with oak wine barrels.
After 4 seasons/years the oak barrel ceases to impart any oak flavor. At this point the wine is usually bottled or in the case of high quality wines they are transferred into a new oak barrel. At this time, we purchase the used barrels, disassemble them, dry them out for many months and start the process that will ultimately allow the Provence or vintage platter to end up on your dining room or kitchen table
Celebrate your favorite cheese and wine in the comfort of your home or consider a Provence platter as a gift for life to your family members or dear friends.
200 years in the growing 10 years drying 4 years aging wine.
Give this wonderful old oak tree another 200 years of life as a special gift for the one you love.
Candelabra is made from the staves or the sides of the wine barrel.
It makes a beautiful center piece in the center of any table
and comes with 5 ten hour white candles.
Champagne Cork Stool
The original and exclusive champagne cork stool. Crafted of real cork
from Portugal, this cork stool is shaped exactly like a champagne cork
stopper. Everyone can use an extra stool in the house. Especially at
less than 2 feet high it could easily be stored under coffee tables and
end tables and brought out when you have a full house; more than likely
for big celebrations. Our champagne cork stool will look fantastic in a
living room or bar/bistro environment but equally as good in a wine
cellar or conservatory. It is sure to draw comments from visitors. It is
also an excellent choice for a special gift for any wine/champagne