Scott Labs Oak and Tannin Choosing Guide

Applies to: Winemakers looking for assistance in selecting and comparing Scott Labs oak alternatives and tannins. This guide contains a downloadable pdf choosing chart that characterizes our oak and tannin products by winemaking stage and intended impact.


Selecting Oak and Tannin for Success

Oak infusion products and tannins are flexible tools that can be used in all stages of winemaking to achieve a variety of goals. These products can increase fruit expression, contribute oak characters, minimize greenness, and enhance mouthfeel.

Additionally, some tannins can act as antioxidants by disrupting the oxidation cascade and inhibiting damaging enzymes from Botrytis infection. Use of oak and tannins in aging and finishing are especially useful in wines that lack structure, complexity, and balance. Choosing the right oak infusion product or tannin depends on the winemaking goal:

Structure and balance

Oak chips, tannins, and oak infusion products can build structure, build volume, or reduce astringency and bitterness. The most appropriate product will depend on winemaking stage.


Both oak infusion products and tannins can enhance wine aroma. Tannins can en­hance freshness and fruit aromas, add oak aromas (depending on tannin source), and mask undesired green/herbaceous characters. Oak infusion products can contrib­ute positive aromas associated with barrel aging and can also minimize green/her­baceous aromas.


Tannins can act as antioxidants (protecting wine aroma and preventing browning) by scavenging many compounds involved in the oxidation cascade. Some tannins can even inactivate laccase, an enzyme present in grapes affected by Botrytis and other rot that leads to accelerated wine oxidation.

Color Stability

Fermentation tannins, which are generally a mix of condensed and hydrolyzable tannins, can contribute to color stability by forming complexes with anthocyanins.

Choosing Chart pdf Download



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