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How to make Cognac – Geography

Finding a more suitable position to make cognac is impossible, since the combination of climate, soil and position creates that lovely French Term, “Terroir”, to which we have no singular description that encompasses such a wide term. The cognac region is in the northern end of the Langue d’Oc, midway between the Bay of Biscay and the Massif Central, a part of France which, when entering from the region just south of Poitier, it is said that the temperature rises 5 degrees.

Winters are usually warmer than more northerly regions and the summer temperatures tend to be less aggressive, providing a climate not hot or dry enough to cause problems with the vines. The quality of the fruit and the intensity of its taste depend on it not being able to grow too prolifically, a factor that is crucial to the quality of the grapes and consequently the wines and spirits produced by them. The balance between the warm sea breezes from the west and the more extreme continental conditions of the Massif Central are at their best surrounding the towns of Cognac and Jarnac. The gently rolling hillsides with their chalky layers rise perhaps no more than 150 metres above sea level, and encourages the perfect maturation of the grapes required for making cognac. Thus the Charente and to a lesser extent Charente Maritime have  over the centuries produced the ideal wines that can be easily reduced in volume by distillation to provide the King of all Brandies, Cognac!