After vinification the wine must be aged or matured. This process takes place either in stainless steel vats or in wooden barrels of varying sizes and features. Wines that do not undergo a long ageing period are usually aged in stainless steel vats.
The right choice of wooden barrel is vital for important wines with particular flavours and aromas which are typical and enhance their quality: small 225 litre oak barriques, in which the wine has more contact with the wood and absorbs its aromas; medium-sized 500 litre tonneaux, and lastly 1000 or 2000 litre barrels. According to the capacity, wood, and number of times the container can be reused, each barrique, tonneau or barrel gives the wine different flavours and aromas.
The length of ageing is equally important, and may be months or years. This is determined by the quality of the vintage, the grape varieties and the type of wine desired. In this stage a good wine may become an excellent wine.