From France to the New World, a small family cooperative has pioneered the production of high-quality barrels for fine wines.
NAPA – 7. April 2021 – Dargo and Jaegle, one of the oldest cask brewers in the world, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021. The company has not only survived a world war, a devastating phylloxera epidemic, fires, frost and economic setbacks, but has also set the standard for quality and innovation in the barrel industry while remaining a dedicated family business.
In 1921 Marcel Dargot and his wife Jeanne Dargot founded their small cooperage at the crossroads of the French wine regions Beaujolais and Maconnais. Ten years later, a 13-year-old boy named Marcel Jaegle knocks on the door of a cooper’s shop and begins training as a cooper. He had already lost his mother and was orphaned five years later after losing his father. Dargad decided to be his legal guardian until he came of age at 21, and in 1968, when the firm was renamed Dargo and Jegle, his name remained attached to the firm forever.
Today, 100 years later, Dargo et Jegle is one of the best known and most sought after cooperatives, now managed by the third and fourth generation. They produce 100 barrels a day, which they sell to the world’s best wineries in 18 countries.
The partnership between Dargo and Jaeglé has gone through some very difficult times, but we have been able to persevere thanks to the enormous amount of work and courage we have all put in over the last 100 years, our commitment to quality and new ideas in production, social policy, organisation and technical concepts, says third generation owner Jean-Marcel Jaeglé. We strive for a harmonious combination of tradition and modernity.
In their pursuit of exceptional quality, Dargaud and Jaeglé are perhaps best known for selling their barrels on the basis of their provenance from the forest, rather than on the basis of the grain, as is common in the industry. Dargo and Jeglé have a deep understanding of terroir and the role it plays for all living things – not just the grapes, but also the trees.
As an alternative to traditional branded vats, they also popularized water-formed vats, the technique used by coopers from the Mâconnais to preserve the fruit, freshness and minerality of the wine, and invented various machines and digital processes to improve the efficiency and quality of their vats. In 2001, Jean-Marcel created the Marcel Cadet ultra-premium cask. This 36-month old wooden barrel was created in honor of his late father and World War II veteran, Marcel Jaegle. Then, in 2008, the family bought a small cooperage in Vallaurine, in the Rhone valley, and expanded it to offer its customers fire-roasted barrels in addition to water-roasted barrels.
For 36 years, Dargaud and Jaeglé, in partnership with Barrel Associates International and the Jaeger family, have been selling their barrels to leading wineries in the North American market.
Lisette Yager, third generation CEO of Barrel Associates International, said: I am grateful for the opportunity to have grown up with the Yaegle family, and I am honored to continue our longstanding partnership with them. As the North American representative of its world-renowned wine barrels, Barrel Associates International is proud of its core values exemplified by Dargo and Yaegle – an unwavering commitment to family, employees, quality products and customer service. Our team is delighted to celebrate the centenary of Dargaud and Jaeglé, and we look forward to celebrating this milestone with our clients in the near future.
About Barrel Associates International
Barrel Associates International is a French and American oak barrel company founded in Napa in 1990 by Jeff Jaeger, William Jaeger Jr. and Rich Davis. Barrel Associates International is the exclusive North American distributor for Tonnellerie Dargaud et Jaeglé and Marcel Cadet French oak barrels, Tonnellerie Vallaurine French oak barrels and Barrel Associates American Fire-bent, Water-bent and Deep Toast oak barrels sold worldwide.
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