The History of Cognac, dating back four centuries, Cognac, was a recognized wine-growing area long before cognac was ‘invented”, this area has wine producing records that date back to the 3rd century AD.
Both the region and the beverage Cognac has a long history; rich with tales of nations, merchants, kings and aristocrats, wars, cold winters and hardships. Despite all this, as it aged, the product kept getting better and better, century after century. Some have referred to it as “the spirit of the gods”.
What is Cognac?
Cognac is a brandy distilled from white wine and produced in the vicinity of Cognac. According to the official site for Cognac Tourism, it is defined as:
The grape which is harvested comes exclusively from a white variety (ugni blanc). The wine is then distilled in special Charentais stills. The “heart” of the second distillation will become cognac after having aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 2 1/2 years, after which it can be sold on the market. The main categories obtained from the blending of eaux-de-vie of different ages and different growth areas are:
*** and V.S.
minimum age of the youngest eau-de-vie used in the blend must be 2 1/2 years
4 1/2 years. Very Superior Old Pale
Napoléon and X.O.
6 1/2 years
Each company, in order to obtain the uniqueness of its categories of cognac, uses eaux-de-vie which are much older than the minimum requirement.
Cognac is an alcohol whose special characteristics depend on four conditions :
80 000 hectares (200 000 acres) of vines, unique climatic conditions, the soil and the proximity of the sea make the Charente region “a happy chance of nature, a lucky exception”.
Double distillation in Charentais pot stills.
The ageing of cognac can only take place in barrels made of oak from the Limousin or Tronçais forests. In fact the eau-de-vie will only become cognac after a slow ageing process in oak specially selected for its capacity to transfer the tanins when in contact with the alcohol, thus giving it colour and “bouquet”.
The blending operation and the know-how of the “maître de chai” are handed down from generaton to generation.
- First, it is necessary to choose a proper wineglass. It is recommended that you use a tulip shaped glass.
- Pour 20-25 ml of cognac pour into the wineglass and heat in the palm of your hand for 8-10 minutes.