Italy - Foudre (big wood)
The "Grosses Holz" (in German) or "Foudre" (in French) is the traditional large barrel. In our regions most wines are finished in a big barrel. Wineries will keep them for decades, sometimes generations. They offer textured surface and micro air exchange of barrels - the texture of wood without the flavour of wood. A large foudre is a phenomenal expense - they have to be mounted on site.
The Alpine regions of Italy are a treasure trove of ancient grape variety and delicious wines. Ignore at your peril
Valtellina is the home of steep vineyards and the most interesting Nebbiolo anywhere. Aosta has a diversity of varieties rarely seen on such a small territory. And of course Alto Adige is the home of Lagrein, Traminer, and so much more.