A Brief Guide To Cognac, A French Brandy
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Cognac is a little easier than its name might suggest. Treating the French spirit like its closest relative, wine, will help you comprehend it better. In a nutshell, cognac is a sort of brandy produced in the western French commune bearing its name. Similar to the greatest wines, it is associated with a specific geographic location and must be produced using a limited number of grapes in a precise manner. Cognac, like Chianti Italian wine or Bordeaux, has age and blending standards. Furthermore, drinking cognac properly requires the use of a specific type of cognac glass (keeping with the wine analogies). 

Origins Of Cognac

Cognac has a long history that dates back to the 1600s. According to legend, the wine that was exported from the area to Holland was inferior. The Dutch started distilling the wine they were receiving after previously starting to do so with the gin. Then, as distillation gained popularity in France, wineries turned to it themselves.

Some of the biggest brands were established quite early. For instance, two noteworthy anniversaries occurred this year: Martell, the oldest continuously operating Cognac brand, celebrated its 300th birthday, while Hennessy, whose own history dates back to 1765, celebrated its 250th birthday. Even if Rémy Martin isn't having a big year, the company dates back to 1724, which is almost as far as Martell's.

Currently, Hennessy is by far the largest distiller, producing about 46% of all Cognac. Martell, Remy Martin, and Courvoisier come after them. Therefore, Courvoisier is the "newest" of the four major players; those up-and-comers weren't established in the Cognac region until 1828; they were founded in 1809.

How Is Cognac Made?

Cognac must be made in the Limousin, France, Cognac region. Within the French Cognac region, there are six Cognac crus, or areas with the right climate for growing premium grapes. Grande-Champagne, Petite-Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois, and Bois Ordinaires are the names of these crus. Terroir, which refers to the distinctive qualities of a location including temperature, terrain, and soil composition and the impact they have on the flavour of the wine, determines these crus.

Difference Between Cognac And Brandy

Wine is distilled to create the spirit known as brandy. While officially a brandy, cognac is a blended version of the liquor whose grapes must originate in France's Cognac-producing regions. Although not all Cognac is brandy, all brandy is theoretically cognac.