Guide to Wine Barrel Dimensions (with 2 Drawings)

If you intend to store wine and just want to discover the barrel sizes, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll go into detail about various kinds of wine barrels with specific dimensions.

Standard Wine Barrel (Burgundy Barrel)

Standard Wine Barrel Dimensions (Burgundy Barrel)

Any barrel that stores spirits such as brandy or burgundy may be referred to generally as a wine barrel.

These barrels are approximately 23 inches in diameter but with varying widths of between 25 inches and 28 inches. This is the standard size barrel; however, there are smaller barrels that would have a head of only approximately 21 inches; and there are larger barrels that have a head diameter of 30 inches.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say that burgundy wine barrels vary in size, with the average size being approximately 34 5/8″ high and 27″ in diameter.

Common Types of Wine Barrels and Their Dimensions

Common Types of Wine Barrels and Their Dimensions

Whiskey Barrel

On the other hand, whiskey barrels have a capacity of storing 53 gallons, equivalent to 200 liters of liquor. This type of barrel is 22 inches in diameter. This is for the heads top and bottom, and 36 inches in height. The circumference of the bilge is approximately 26 to 28 inches. When empty, the barrel weighs approximately 110 lbs, and when full, it weighs approximately 520 lbs.

It is also important to know the dimensions of a 60-gallon wine barrel, which weighs 85lbs. Its dimensions are 40 in. by 40 in. by 48 in. Its typical length is 95cm, equivalent to 37.3 inches, with a head diameter of 56cm, equivalent to 22 inches.

It also has a common standard wood thickness of 27 mm, which is equivalent to 2 inches. It has 6 to 8 hoops and a bunk hole diameter of 50ml, which is equivalent to 2 inches.

Bordeaux Barrel

Bordeaux Barrel

There is also the Bordeaux barrel which contains 225 liters equivalent to 60 US gallons. This barrel is used to store French wine. It has a height of 94, 80 cm, or 3.11 feet/37.32 inches. Its bottom and top circumferences are equivalent to 55,75 cm or 2.25 feet /26.97 inches. They have 6 iron hoops and 4 wooden hoops.

Keg Wine Barrel

Then there’s the keg wine barrel. These barrels come in different sizes. There is the quarter keg barrel and the half-barrel keg, also known as the full keg. The quarter barrel has the same width as a full barrel but is 10 inches shorter in terms of height. This keg size holds an equivalent of sixty-two pints which is equivalent to 80 bottles of beer.

Kegs standard size has a capacity of 30 liters with dimensions of 363mm in diameter and 400mm in height, and a height of 600 mm for 50-liter keg. The kegs euro standard is 395mm in diameter and 365mm in height. This is for the 30 liters keg and 532mm for the 50 liters barrel, which is a bit wider and lower than the average keg barrel.

Hogshead Barrel

There is also the hogshead barrel which is typically equivalent to 63 gallons. An average hogshead is 48 inches or 1,219 mm long and 30 inches or 762mm in diameter at the head. The standard gallon size and vary from 63 gallons to 550 liters or 121 imp gallons or 145 US gallons. This is dependent on its middle width.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Barrels

How many times can a wine barrel be used?

Recycling a wine barrel leads to faded flavors. Winemakers should therefore replace barrels after every three harvests. This ensures that the wine flavor retains consistency.

This is because the oak used in the production of wine barrels no longer produces a good flavor when used more than three times as it loses its potency and becomes neutral.

How do barrels affect wine?

In regard to oak wine barrels, the barrel’s age and size determine the amount of oak flavor added to the wine. Smaller barrels produce more flavored wine as they facilitate more contact between the wood and the wine.

The grave skins produced by this type of barrel are also of a smoother texture as the wood could aid in stabilizing the tannin from the grape skins.

How long does a wine barrel last?

Oak barrels can generally last for over 100 years. It is, therefore, a great idea to use oak barrels due to their ability to last long. It is also ideal to use them as they are recyclable.

Why do wine barrels not leak?

Wine barrels don’t leak due to their airtight property. They also allow a small amount of oxygen to pass through them due to their porosity. Winemakers observed that this porous attribute and the fact that wine barrels were airtight improved the quality of the wine.

How many times can you use a bourbon barrel?

For over the first two years of its life, a bourbon barrel adds rich flavor and color to the bourbon aging inside it. By US legal standards, a bourbon barrel should be used once to distill bourbon. This is despite the fact that these barrels have a lifespan of up to 60 years.

What are wine barrels used for?

Oak barrels offer various contributions to the production of wine as listed below;

First and foremost, it adds flavor. These are components such as cloves, smoke, coconut, and fragrances of vanilla.

It also facilitates gradual absorption of oxygen, which ensures that the wine tastes smoother and more refined.

Does cheap wine have more tannin?

In general terms, less expensive wines tend to have lower tannin as compared to more expensive ones. There are various viable reasons as to this.

That said, one major reason is an increase in grape production in a vineyard which causes a reduction in polyphenol composition in each grape.

What does dullness in wine mean?

When wine is poorly handled just before bottling, it exhibits a slight haze or dullness. Being a natural product, wine contains various components which degrade over time. Most wines undergo a treatment process to prevent this from happening while in the bottle.

How are wine barrels stored?

If not immediately filled with wine, used or emptied barrels can be stored while dry or wet. However, new barrels can either be stored in a clean environment with 65 to 75 percent humidity, or they can be left in plastic bags.

Can I make a wine rack from a wine barrel? 

Yes, if you are skilled enough, you can follow some DIY tutorials like this and make one. Another easy way is to order one from some online furniture stores. Make sure to check the wine rack sizes before having one to fit your space.

Why is the inside of a wine barrel burned?

This is done so that flavor is added to the wine while aging in the barrel, and it also ensures that the flavor doesn’t escape or is not taken out. While aging, various phenols, sugars, and other compounds ascend to the wood’s surface and mix with the wine.