France is the dominant source of European oak for staves. The country not only contains vast forests covering more than 20% of its own area but also produces oak of a quality that is highly sought-after in barrel-making. The most common oak in France, as throughout the rest of Europe, is the Quercus robur species (also known by the designation of Quercus pedunculata and Quercus rubra), which flourishes in a variety of growing conditions. Another important though less common species of oak in French forests is Quercus petraea (also known as Quercus sessiliflora, Quercus sessiflora, and Quercus sessilis), which has a tighter grain.
Nadalié produces barrels from oak originating in the Nevers, Allier, Tronçais, Centre, Vosges, and Limousin forests, as well as other, smaller forests. Forest of origin is a significant factor in the choice of oak in that the terroir and climate of a given region affect, among other things, the density of grain in the wood. A tighter grain not only means a less porous wood, which ensures a watertight barrel but also releases oak flavor to the wine more slowly. By contrast, tough, coarse, loosely-grained wood, such as oak from Limousin, imparts strong flavors more aggressively and is typically used for Spirits.