What is the Fine Champagne category?

What is the Fine Champagne category?

Fine Champagne category produces high quality cognacs. Fine Champagne cognacs are only made with wine from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne cru. In 1848, Paul Emile Rémy Martin created the first Fine Champagne cognac by blending cognac from the two regions. At Maison Painturaud Frères, we are situated exclusively in Grande Champagne to produce superior eau-de-vie.

Focus on this cognac made from the most prestigious eau-de-vie.


A quick word etymology

Unlike its name, Fine Champagne doesn’t refer to the sparkling wine or the region in the north east of France. The word “champagne”, written “champaigne” in old French comes from “campania” in Latin and means “countryside” or “lowland”. The word “fine” designates since 1938 a natural and good quality eau-de-vie from a protected designation of origin (it needs to produce in a specific region). In other word, Fine Champagne cognac is a cognac from a designation of origin and made with wine grown on plains and not on hillsides.


The protected designation “Fine Champagne”

According to the 2005 decree, the protected designation “Fine Champagne” can only be use when blending eau-de-vie exclusively from the Grande Champagne or Petite Champagne area. It must also be composed of at least 50% of Grande Champagne eau-de-vie.


Fine Champagne cognac in its region of origin

Grande Champagne and Fine Champagne represent the two most prestigious cognac cru. They have different geological characteristics and produces very different eau-de-vie. These two regions have a clay-limestone soil from the Cretaceous. These soils are very similar to soils you could find in the Champagne region. The Grande and Petite Champagne produce very aromatic eau-de-vie that can age in barrels for many years. Cognac from Petite Champagne are known for its power and the Grande Champagne for its delicacy.


How to recognize a Fine Champagne cognac?

Fine Champagne cognacs are characterized by its sweet and mellow notes balanced with a unique complexity of aromas. Many cognac brands are producing Fine Champagne cognacs but each one of them produces a different blend with various flavors. Each brand creates their difference on many levels: the eau-de-vie selection, the distillation process, the barrels, the ageing…

From a legal point, every producer using the “Fine Champagne” name on their labels needs to be able to prove that the eau-de-vie come from the right region to have an authorization. This way, it avoids fraud.

Which Fine Champagne Cognac to choose?

The cognac age refers to the time spend in barrels. Unlike wine, cognac stops ageing as soon as it’s put in bottle.
A Fine Champagne cognac hasn’t any age restriction. You can easily find a VS, VSOP or XO from Fine Champagne. You can perfectly drink it as cocktails, on ice or as a digestive.
For more information you can check our article about the different cognac quality grades.

Here at Maison Painturaud Frères, we are not producing Fine Champagne cognac as all our vineyards are in the heart of Grande Champagne, the most prestigious cognac cru.
We invite you to discover our cognacs. If you are in the region, come by and visit our estate.