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“I’m talking to you about my craft because I have a passion for my work. It is a family craft, as my great grandfather was a cooper. It is an old craft, as you’ll see from my description of its history, and it’s a craft that 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 at its soul, manual, craftsman-oriented, 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, crafting functional pieces of sculpture that are 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 as much a pleasure to the eye as it is to the heart. Each barrel gives its cooper a feeling of renewal; the sensation is strong or weak 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 ultimately is as important as doing the job itself.”

Alain Sirugue – The Barrel from A–Z – Tonnellerie Sirugue France

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Tonnellerie Sirugue was founded in 1903 by Felix Sirugue. It remains a family owned cooperage located in the heart of the beautiful region of Burgundy in the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges. The cooperage is now safely in the hands of fifth-generation descendants Alain and Cecile Sirugue, who maintain the family’s artisanal approach to the heritage of barrel crafting.

Alain and Cecile continue Tonnellerie Sirugue’s traditional hands-on contact with the stave mills, ensuring that only the best oak is used, after having been air-dried for a minimum of 24 months at the cooperage. Françoise and the staff of Sirugue USA are in constant communication with the manufacturing facility to better monitor the progress of orders and to ensure that clients’ needs and requests are being met.

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