Re: "TW" reefer designation

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>

Dick and John,

At the time these cars were converted (the late 1930s), wood was the
only commonly used material for cooperage in the California wine
industry. Although glass-lined tanks were in common use for milk, they
were still on the far horizon for wine producers. Stainless steel was
pretty new and wouldn't make much of an appearance in the wine industry
until the 1960s.

Wood "breathes" (just like the cork in a good bottle of wine), and this
allows the wines to improve by gentle oxidation. Oak, was and still is,
the most commonly used wood for wine. It adds tannic acid, necessary for
giving red wines and Chardonnays their complex flavors. Redwood is
chemically neutral and is preferred for aging fruity reds and most white
wines. Redwood lends itself more to upright storage vats than horizontal
aging barrels. Stainless steel and glass are not only chemically
neutral, but don't breathe either, so they add nothing to the wine.

We have no details on the wood used for the cooperage in these cars, but
my best guess is that they were probably oak.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Dick Harvey wrote:


Wooden tanks sounds good to me. Wine loves that stuff.

There is a page in the PFE book that gives the history of those cars, and
I believe that is where Bill McClung got the idea and data for doing them.

Dick Harley

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