Creativity. What provides the spark in someone’s brain that makes them think: “What would happen if I did XYZ with this old wooden barrel?” Well, the proof of the pudding is in the myriad secondary uses for oak casks which have served their original purpose.
Barrels aren’t necessarily something consumers pay a lot of attention to – unless the oak influence is a touch too heavy in their chardonnay or chenin! Winemakers and brand owners on the other hand pay a LOT of attention to them – because they are very expensive items to have in the winery.
Dr Paul Cluver is a retired neurosurgeon – and is used to pondering innovative solutions to problems. He is also a serious environmental custodian: it’s why Paul Cluver Wines was one of the first biodiversity champions recognised by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The young folks were taught rudimentary construction skills, use of power tools, teamwork, scheduling and communication, project management and more as they built these innovative, sturdy bridges. Their pride in making something tangible as well as earning a solid wage was palpable and has been the first career step for many of them.
The only perceivable limit to what crafty upcyclers can come up with for wine barrels, are the restrictions of their own creativity.