A Beautiful White Wine
Cognac is a type of brandy which got its name from the French city of Cognac, this is because a brandy which is produced in regions of Cognac is eligible to get this label otherwise it’s just another type of brandy but not a Cognac.
Among various types grapes which are used for its production are white grapes Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard. Unlike grain spirits, Cognac can’t be produced all year round and can only be made during a specific time of year. Grapes are harvested in September till October and are turned into wine without any delay as time is of the essence.
To make Cognac, white wine is used which is thin, dry and acidic in nature and is considered as “virtually undrinkable”. After collecting the right grapes in proper proportions, they are pressed, and juice is left for fermentation for up to 2 till 3 weeks with local wild yeasts which converts the sugar into alcohol. These specific types of grapes only make thin and unremarkable wines but with nearly perfected techniques of distillation and aging, it gets its famous taste and aroma. At this stage, neither Sulphur or sugar is added resulting in a wine which is 7 – 8 percent alcohol. This brandy is required to be distilled in specially made copper pot and is left to age for a period of two years French Oak barrels. The process of Cognac to be mature is like whiskeys and wine but cognacs take a considerably long time. Charentais copper stills are used for distillation and its design and dimensions are closely monitored by legal bodies. To get off about 70% of alcohol it requires 2 distillations which results in colorless spirit also known as “eau-de-vie”
Foraging limousine, oak casks are required for at least two years after distillation and then it can be sold to the general public for consumption. It is specially put into casks at 70% alcohol by column because it interacts with ok barrel along with and evaporates at 3% every year losing both water & alcohol. As alcohol dissipates faster than water so the alcohol concentration comes down to 40% over the life.
Though Cognac is made from grapes rather than grains but is similarities with whiskey can’t be ignored. Cognac exports are on the rise to North America just like whiskey and its makers are experiencing a boom in its demand relative to last year. In recent years we are witnessing small manufacturers making their own labels alongside large brands with their own finishes. Cognac’s appellation regulates almost everything starting from grapes quality and grades, in which type of conditions they are grown in and where they are distilled then aged and stored.
Tyler Phillips who is a senior brand manager for D’USSE said that “in 1800’s Cognac was considered as bartender’s spirit of choice”. This was because Cognac’s complex flavor was able to blend well with different fruits and juices making it a perfect ingredient for cocktails. Just like every kind of spirit you can find Cognac at almost every budget level ranging from Remy Martin Luise XIII a $3000 to a Cuvee Leonie sold at a staggering price tag of $1,000,000 at an auction in 2011. Go right here to find out more details.