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How to make Cognac – Introduction

At Brandyclassics we believe very much in education – without it the industry will fail to pass on the benefits of knowledge about potentially most important area of the end customer service. Brandy is important because it creates an opportunity to extend our knowledge of wines. Those who have read our previous notes will understand that brandies are a reduced wine. This series will cover every key aspect of cognac production. Cognac is after all, the “King of all Brandies” and as Samuel Johnson said, “Claret is the liquor for boys, Port for men, but he who aspires to be a hero, must drink brandy”.

During my travels to the finest hotels and restaurants in the world, I never cease to be amazed how little knowledge top sommeliers and bar managers have on this important subject. Let us try and address that problem!

The cognac region is centrally located on the western side of France and the main town is called Cognac. Tthe drink is named after the town and not vice versa. Cognac is about 100 km south east of La Rochelle, which was instrumental in the development of the cognac trade in the 18th & 17th Centuries. The other great brandies of France are also made on the western side of the country. To the north is Normandy, from which comes the cidre brandy, Calvados and to the south in Gascogne is the home of Armagnac. But we will concentrate on cognac in this series.