Quebracho is a dense hardwood tree that grows in Argentina, Paraguary and Bolivia. It is commonly used as fuel for the legendary Argentine barbecue but it is also an important tannin for the leather industry as the heartwood contains between 20-30% tannin. Recently quebracho has been listed by winemaking suppliers as it is used to resist oxidation of red wines as well as impart flavor.
The entire tree, bark to heartwood is used and the wood is quite heavy and extremely hard. The name is derived from the Spanish quebrar, to break, and hacha, an axe. It is quite slow growing, and therefore is harvested selectively from tree farms that participate in reforestation efforts. Quebracho has a long history as a tanning agent and as a dye.
Quebracho is used to dye cellulose fibers and also performs well on silks and wool, and yields a yellowish brown color.