I work with a business associate who was reared in Bordeaux and currently resides in Paris. He is convinced that there isn't enough "French oak" in France to support all the statements by wineries throughout the world, that they use French oak barrels for fermentation.
Now, I realize that this is just supposition on his behalf, but it did get me thinking on the legitimacy of PR releases using the phrase "new French oak".
So, here are my questions:
1. Where is all this French oak coming from?
2. Can oak trees grown in Hungary or Romania and purchased and sold through a French company be called French oak?
3. How does one know if the barrels really come from France? Are they stamped "Made in France"? Or is this just a marketing phrase like "Chilean Sea Bass" which is neither from Chile nor a sea bass?