French Oak (Quercus Qatraea)
Northern European White Oak grows north of the Alps mostly in France, Germany and Austria. During the last ice age, the number of varieties of oaks and maples in Europe were greatly reduced as they could not migrate over the Alps into warmer climates due to the east – west orientation of the mountain range. Only a few subspecies survived under the ice shield. In consequence, there is much less tree and specie variety to cross pollinate in northern Europe.
In contrast, there are more than 100 subspecies of Oak in North America where all the mountain ranges are north – south oriented and all sub-species survived the ice age and can cross pollinate.
As a result, French Oak has less color variation and higher tannin content than any other oak around the globe. French Oak is grown in forests that have been a model for sustainable hardwood management for the last 300 years. The trees are only harvested when they are fully mature after 150+ years. The harvesting is done by select, unobtrusive cutting.