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How Tall Is A Wine Barrel?

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Wine barrels come in all sizes and shapes, making it hard to determine the readily available standard size. Predominately, you can measure a wine barrel and discover it 35-inches tall, though the diameter will vary from 23 inches to 28 inches.

In fact, the size of a wine barrel is more about its width, diameter, and belly size, though the height is essential. Let us look at the dimensions of wine barrels and see if it matters how good a bottle or glass of wine tastes.

If you’ve studied winemaking or seen wine barrels at wineries, you may have noticed that barrels come in different sizes. Besides their differences, these barrels look similar, even though some look taller than others.

Understanding the size of wine barrels will help you decide which one is best for you in case you want to add one for decorations, as a planter, or make wine at home. Some have found interesting uses for these barrels, such as turning one into a smoker.

On average, the dimensions of a wine barrel are 35-inches tall and 27-inches in diameter. But wine barrels fluctuate in width based on how many gallons of wine they can hold. The height stays constant except for unique circumstances or when someone orders custom barrels.

The variations in wine barrels may make you wonder how big these barrels can get or what they can do. Let us find out how the size of a wine barrel, including the answer to “how tall is a wine barrel”, can change and why it changes.

One aspect is the design of wine barrels is similar, broad in the middle, narrow at the top and bottom, with a certain height.

Tops and Bottoms of Wine Barrels

tops and bottoms of wine barrels

No matter how you look at these barrels, the top and bottom of each one are smaller than the barrel’s belly and typically round.

The smaller design of the barrel head and bottom ensures they are simpler to stack and thus store. Most heads and bottoms range from 21 to 23 inches in diameter based on the quantity the barrel needs to store.

Measurements of the Barrel Belly

Bilge hoops have a lot to do with the barrel belly because these hoops hold the barrel together. Some call the belly the bilge or bulge but let’s stick with belly since most people call it that.

It’s the widest part of the barrel and the biggest concern for winemakers and people like you who want to repurpose the barrel.

A large barrel will have a 28 to 29-inches diameter, and huge ones, if you can find them, are 32 inches or more in diameter, leaving the head and bottom diameters as much as 25 inches. Seeing or finding one this big is rare.

Mostly, you’ll find barrels measuring 37-inches tall, with a belly of around 25 to 27-inches in diameter and a head and bottom at 21 inches. Twenty-eight to 29-inches is pretty big but more common than the 32-inch diameter barrel.

Height of a Wine Barrel

As mentioned earlier, how tall a wine barrel is pretty consistent at 37 inches. Though, you may find one at 34.75 inches or 35 inches.

In France, the Bordeaux barrels measure 37.5 inches, thanks to their traditional style of winemaking for centuries.

Weight of a Wine Barrel

Another aspect to consider about a wine barrel is its weight because they are heavy. An empty barrel may weigh around 90 to 115 pounds based on specific dimensions and the type of wood.

A full barrel of wine will weigh up to 600 pounds.

How Much Wine Can a Barrel Hold?

how much wine can a barrel hold

A variety of barrels are available to make wine, each with a specific capacity.

Demi-Barrique – In French, this means “half-barrel” and is half the size of a traditional French barrel, holding close to 30 gallons of wine. Winemakers call them “barrique” for short.

Bordelaise and Bourguignon – Also known as Burgundy and Bordeaux barrels, these are the standard, holding 60 gallons. However, the Burgundy is slightly larger.

Hogshead – These barrels are for cognac, not wine, but hold 79 gallons.

A Demi-Muid – Some consider this barrel anomaly because it’s nowhere near typical measurements, holding 159 gallons or 600 litters. You might find one in a home or boutique winery. These are oak barrels used in the Rhone Valley of southern France.

What Do Wineries Do with Their Used Wine Barrels?

used wine barrels

Most wineries sell their old barrels to distillers that make cognac or other spirits and want the barrel aging process. Wine-soaked barrels gives more flavour to hard liquors, making them premium choices.

How Long do Wine Barrels Last?

how long do wine barrels last

Most oak wine barrels last well into their 100th year with proper storage. Once you convert one into a table or planter, ensure its longevity by taking care of its wood.

How Tall Is A Wine Barrel – Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about how tall a wine barrel is look around and see if you notice any at garage sales or wineries. Consider adding one to your decor, such as a table or outside plant container.

Also, make sure you check out our guide to wine bottle sizes.

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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