Cognac is produced in France in the region Poitou-Charentes, Cognac. There is grown the main variety of brandy of grapes – Ugni Blanc – which ripen slowly, has a high acidity, high yield and disease resistance. Used in the production of other varieties – Colombard, Montilla and Folle Blanche, they give an aromatic and rich taste the alcohol, but difficult in cultivation.
The production of cognac is not only legally regulated in France, but also patented at the international level. Other spirits that are not produced in the Charente, you do not have the right to be called cognac.
The process of making brandy consists of several stages, which already have a tradition: gathering grapes, squeezing the juice, distillation of wine, aging in barrels and the blending of brandy for expanding bouquets.
The main stages in the production of cognac
1. The collection and extraction of berries.
The vines are planted at intervals of about 3 m, so that the grapes get the most sun. Berries are harvested in early October, and you press horizontal presses, to prevent damage to the bone and not to spoil the taste of the juice. Squeezed the juice was put to ferment without added sugar.
2. Distillation of the juice.
After 3 weeks, dry white wine is ready, at this stage, the beverage contains about 8% alcohol. The wine is sent to a double distillation in Charentais patented. The result is a brandy spirit that is sent to the exposure.
3. Aging in oak barrels.
Contains the resulting alcohol in oak barrels at a temperature of 15° from two to fifty years. The alcohol loses some of its strongholds, and oak wood gives the drink color and a pleasant bouquet. Substances that are absorbed from the oak, known as dry extract. To make cognac barrels made from French oak forests of the Limousin and Tronza. From this wood the barrels are strong and at the same time, porous and contain a sufficient amount of tannins – tannins, which form the bouquet of cognac.
After the brandy of the maturity of the process of aging stop and drink poured into glass containers to prevent contact with air and the further development of the aging process.
4. The mixing of drinks.
The last stage of cooking brandies is to mix different flavor drinks, for the formation of new bouquets. This art of the wizard, learning all their lives, very often place the cognac master is inherited.