There are times in life when you stumble across something perfect when you least expect it. We should know – we met in a crowded airport café in Kenya.
Wineoak Interiors was also born from a chance encounter, this time in South Africa. Whilst road-tripping through the Western Cape, we were looking to buy a wine rack, which led us to visit our partner, Vinwood, in the heart of the stunning winelands of Stellenbosch. We found our wine rack, but also came away with three tables and a load of chairs. We had a coup de coeur, as the French would say. So much so that we decided to set up Wineoak to bring the range to the UK.
What is Wineoak?
All of the products we source from Vinwood are made from reclaimed oak wine barrels and vats of various sizes. You’d be surprised how massive some of them are – the 12,000 litre vats stand over 2 metres tall. The barrels are collected from various wineries in the Stellenbosch and Franschoek areas, who have no further use for them after they reach the end of their useful lives in the winemaking process. Each stave has its own rich history – some of the barrels date back to the 1930s, when they were manufactured by coopers in Nancy, France, and shipped to South Africa.
We like to think that there are two concurrent processes going on as wine is aged in oak barrels. Not only does the oak give flavour to the wine, but the wine also gives colour and texture to the oak. So whilst we love a good barrel-aged Pinot Noir, we’re also crazy about the other synthesis that occurs between the oak and the wine. The traces of wine, and the other features of wine-making process such as the toasting of the barrels, are what give the furniture and accessories their character and charm.
And when you put a raw material as unique as “Wineoak” in the hands of a team of master designers and craftsmen, specialists in harnessing the shape of the barrel staves and the colours of the oak, beautiful things happen.
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind furniture with bags of character, you’ve come to the right place. We hope you find your coup de coeur.
Ben Hodgson and Claudia Gaziano
Founders, Wineoak Interiors