History    Appellation    Crus    Distillation    Tasting

The vineyards date back to the 3rd century. In the 16th century Dutch merchants used them to supply their new distilleries.

Double distillation appeared at the beginning of the 17th century. It was discovered that the brandy was greatly improved by ageing in oak barrels. Numerous cognac firms developed in the middle of the 19th century.

In 1875 phylloxera destroyed almost the entire vineyard. The replanting of the vineyard occurred slowly throughout the whole of the 20th century.

Notre gamme de Cognac

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Grape varieties
The area in which cognac can be produced is delimited by law. The grapes are exclusively white varieties (Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard).

The distillation of cognac is a two step process. Only the Charente-style pot still made entirely of copper can be used.

Ageing: only in cellars, known as "Jaune d'Or". Reserved for cognac.

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Grande and Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois à Terroir are the names of the six regions which make up the zone of production of cognac.

Grande Champagne covers about 32,000 acres of vines devoted to cognac production. It produces very delicate, light brandies with a flowery bouquet, which need long ageing in the barrel.

The cognacs from Petite Champagne have the same characteristics as those from Grande Champagne but without the same extreme finesse.

Fins Bois and Bons Bois produce brandies which age rapidly and are more rugged.

Borderies is the smallest of the six regions.

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The distillation is carried out twice, using a Charente-style pot still. The distillation cycle lasts about twenty-four hours and requires a great deal of attention and surveillance.

The cognac ages exclusively in barrels made of oak wood from the forests of Tronçais and the Limousin region. Carefully selected, the wood gives the cognac its colour and aroma.

The ageing is carried out in barrels of around 270 to 450 litres. The substances extracted out of the oak wood by the cognac give it a colour ranging from golden yellow to fiery brown. During the whole time that the cognac is in its barrel, getting the best out of the oak, it is steadily losing volume and degree of alcohol into the air. This natural evaporation is poetically called "the angels' share".

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Odour Any olfactory sensation directly perceived.
Aroma Any olfactory sensation perceived at the back of the nose and mouth: agreeable odour given off by a drink.
Bouquet All the olfactory sensations together (odour + aroma)
Montant The first odour given off by a cognac.
Length Persistence of the first odour given off by a cognac (duration of the intensity of the montant).
Savour Gustatory sensations perceived by the tongue and palate.
Taste All the sensations perceived in the mouth taken as a whole (savour + aromas)
Flavour All the sensations perceived by the mouth and nose taken as a whole (taste + bouquet)
Body Said of a mellow, smooth brandy which rolls under the tongue.
Rancio A Charente term to describe the "easy-to-drink" savour of a cognac ageing in an oak barrel and whose intensity increases with the passing years.
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