We use a still known as Charentais, all made of copper, to produce our eaux-de-vie. The wine starts in the boiler and brought to boil. Alcohol fumes are released, they gather in the Hat, move to the Swan’s neck then down the Coil. When in contact with the refrigerant, the alcohol fumes condense and flow into “brouillis”. This slightly cloudy liquid measures between 28 and 32% in volume. It is then poured into the boiler for a second distillation, this is called “la bonne chauffe”. The distiller then proceeds a very delicate task, “la coupe”. The first portion “les têtes” is very high in alcohol and put aside (1-2% volume). Then comes “le cœur”, an eau-de-vie clear and limpid
A LEGENDARY ORIGIN
According to legend, pineau des Charentes was created by a Charentais wine-grower by accident in 1859. The man poured by mistake grape must (juice) in a barrel that already had cognac eau-de-vie. A few years later, after a big harvest, the precious barrel was needed. He discovered a beautiful drink, pineau des Charentes.
Cognac is a subtle blend of different eaux-de-vie from different years with the goal to get an aromatic bouquet and a constant quality in the desired Cognac.
A prestigious and unique eau-de-vie, cognac is known all over the planet. Thanks to its aromas developed over the years by the interaction with the wood in barrels, the contact with air and the blending work done by the cellar master, cognac reveals an aromatic richness and a unique taste.
It seems easy to understand the Cognac classification. But when looking closer it is quite confusing for consumers:
– VS: 3 years old
– VSOP: 5 years old
– XO: 10 years old (it was 7 years until the 1st of April 2018 – this decision was taken by the B.N.I.C in 2011)