The liberalization of WOOD PIECES, commonly referred to as CHIPS, dates back to October
2006 for Europe. The decision was made by the European Commission on 11 October 2006 and
made official by Regulation EC 1507/2006. This liberalization was completed and replaced by Regulation
EC 606/2009 issued in July 2009.

EC Regulation 606/2009

EC Regulation 606/2009, now the only one in force, has extended the area of application of WOOD PIECES, and these can now be used in the fermentation or pre-fermentation phase (on fresh grapes or grape must) in addition to using them to finished wines which was the case until now.

Here again, it is advisable to refer to the exact text of the EC regulation 1507/2006.

It indicates that wood pieces are used to transmit certain characteristics coming form oak wood to wine.

It stipulates that the granulometry, ie the dimensions of the particles of wood, must be such that at least 95% in weight are retained by a 2mm mesh filter.

The wood pieces, of the QUERCUS species, whether it be products from the CHIPS or STAVES category, can be used :

›› On all types of wine
›› At all stages of preparation of wines (as from the fermentation phase )
›› This is valid for the 27 member countries of the European Union
›› While referring strictly to the area of application laid down by the regulation

Specific arrangements

Each member country of the Union is free to make specific, more restrictive arrangements for wines of controlled designation of origin (AOP – AOC) or wines with protected geographical origin (previously referred to as vins de pays). This is left to the discretion of the specialized institutions. In the case of France, this is the INAO. It is advisable to consult the appellation unions to check whether the use of WOOD PIECES is in line with these specific arrangements.

The current European regulation is limited to Quercus species.

Nevertheless, other species can be of organoleptic interest for certain types of wine (acacia, cherry…) and are commonly used outside of Europe.