Cognac Begins with Grapes. Apples Become Calvados
Not All Grapes Become Wine
Have you ever considered an alternative path for grapes; one that leads to something other than wine? Are you ready to acknowledge that not all wine stays as wine, and some wines actually continue their production journey to become brandy…and a few very special grapes – are destined to become Cognac?
Only One Cognac
While Cognac is part of the brandy family, it has its own pedigree. The distinguishing characteristics can be found in the vineyards of the small French town that lends its name to this noted beverage: Cognac!
Cognac is located in the areas of Charente and Charente-Maritime where production is controlled by the French appellation DOC following a process and labeling requirements that are mandated by law. The specific and dominant grape used to make Cognac is Ugni blanc (aka Saint-Emilion and Trebbiano) and at least 90 percent of the grapes used must be grown in Cognac, if the Cognac brand is going to be affixed to the product; however, up to 10 percent can be from other grapes including Folignan, Jurancon blanc, Meslier St. Francois (or Blanc Rame), Select Montils or Semillon (if it is going to be CRU).
To be considered Cognac, the brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged a minimum of 2-years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Troncais. Cognac matures in the same manner as whiskies and wines although Cognacs spend longer periods of time “on the wood” – beyond minimum legal requirements. After the distillation and during the aging process it is also known as eau de vie.dor, a part of the Spanish Armada (it sank off the coast of Normandy in the 16th century). READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL.