November arrives and with the first frosts it is time to “set the fire” under the still as our parents and grandparents did…
It is a job of day and night, of supervision and attention to collect the very essence of the wine and our year of work.
Each grape variety is distilled separately and the process must be controlled 24 hours a day to ensure that we capture the essence of the wine. Distillation begins with the lighting of the fire under the still; we use the traditional methods of our ancestors by burning wood to start the heating of the wine. The smoke produced by the fire surrounds the still, allowing the wine to be gently heated and the distillation process to begin.
The first heating of the wine produces the brouillis, which has an average alcohol content of 28% to 32% vol. From the second heating or “Bonne Chauffe” will result the brandy. Always separating heads, hearts, tails. At that time, the eaux-de-vie are crystalline, pure but also fruity and heady, with a content of 70% vol. We will talk about Cognac after ageing in wood.