RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Our commitment to deliver “better barrels” to the wine and spirits industries begins with ongoing research and experiments with industry experts and top winemakers and master distillers. These distinguished persons include Dr. James Swan and David Llodrá.
Dr. James Swan
Jim Swan is a research and development consultant with over 25 years of experience of maturation in oak wood. His work includes supervision of projects into oak research, product quality, blending and sensory evaluation of wines and spirits. After graduating from the Heriot-Watt University in Chemistry he subsequently gained a PhD in Biological Sciences from the same university. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and book contributions and has lectured on oak wood maturation worldwide.
From 1985 to the present time he has managed a series of UK and European funded research programs into barrel maturation and warehousing valued at over $2.5M.
In conjunction with Independent Stave Company, he is undertaking a range of products into oak maturation. These are aimed at extending our knowledge of matured quality as well as promoting cost effectiveness in the use of barrels and oak alternatives.
David Llodrá (pronounced yo-dra) joined Independent Stave Company in 2004 as Research and Development Director. Llodrá holds a Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology from UC-Davis and is currently a candidate for a PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry at UC-Davis with an expected graduation in 2009. Llodrá also holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from Escuela Universitaria de Ingenieros Tecnicos Agricolas in Valencia, Spain. He has 13 years of comprehensive experience in winemaking, cellar and lab operations as well as consulting. His focus is on product development for both wine and spirits barrels and oak alternatives. Llodrá also provides analysis, testing, market trends and liaising with production and sales.
Since 2007, Llodrá has been working with Dr. Mark Valentini, owner of Analytical Sciences. Llodrá and Valentini have developed an exhausted method of extraction to evaluate oak products and improve the GC/MS method to analyze wines and oak extractions. Llodrá's main focus is working on the development of a sensory method to evaluate oak experiements and to correlate sensory with chemistry.