fontaines oak.
One hundred trees out of a million.

Only the best
make the cut.

The oak trees that grow in Fontaines are not just run-of-the-mill oak. They are part of a long relationship with France, with Fontaines [46°51'24.0"N 4°48'01.9"E], in the heart of the Burgundy where, in the mid-1900s, the Margaritelli family started a large timber business aimed at responsible management, as well as primary oak and other broadleaf lumber. At the time it was a truly avant-garde structure, and today it remains one of Europe’s extraordinary enterprises.

Forest cycle

Listone Giordano put the good practices of sustainable forestry to work and made it a banner division of its production activity, selecting only the finest materials in the world. The cycle of an oak forest in the Burgundy, which produces that marvellous French oak, begins in Year Zero with a density of a million trees per hectare. A magnificent mantle of green which, at the start, involves one hundred little shoots per square metre.

The process ends two centuries later when only one hundred of the trees are chosen per hectare, only the very finest are cut. And not just any tree. The most beautiful oak trees you can imagine. They are 25 metres tall, with beautiful straight trunks, the result of endless selection by generations of expert forest technicians. When acorns fall to the ground a new cycle comes to life and the process starts all over again. A natural selection of the species that quietly perpetuates itself through centuries of French forests, and which then well deserve the reputation they have earned as the very finest of raw materials, wood that has no equal.

It is not for nothing that this wood is sought after the world over for making barrels in which to age the world’s most celebrated wines. It seems strange to be able to walk on it as flooring. But true.