Even though botti is the Italian word for “barrels”, in wine terms it refers to huge wooden casks traditionally made of Slavonian oak or chestnut used to age wine. They vary in size, but some of the largest ones can hold the equivalent of 40 thousand bottles of wine and can be used for more than 50 years. In comparison, the commonly used 60-gallon barrique holds about 300 bottles of wine and is used for about 5 years.
Large botti are used all over Italy to age wine, allowing all the components in the wine to develop and compenetrate without the flavors being masked by strong oak characteristics. For example, in Veneto, traditional Amarone like Luigi Righetti and Speri spend 12 months in medium to large Slavonian oak botti, while in Tuscany Castello Banfi uses a modern approach with French oak medium sized botti for their Brunello Poggio all’Oro.
Author: Maytte Rivera