While many people are aware of the Gascon cousin of cognac – Armagnac, not so many people are aware that the region also produces a drink very similar to Pineau des Charentes. The drink is known as Floc de Gascogne, or more simply ‘floc,’ and is made from grape juice and armaganac. Originally produced outside of the law, floc was produced with no conformity – each distiller keeping to his own recipe.
Francis Deche, a wine, armagnac and floc producer from the town of Eauze in the Gers, campaigned for 15 years to get the drink AOC recognition. Pineau gained AOC status in 1945 but it took 45 years before floc managed the same.
In the end the floc producers met with the producers of pineau to understand the exact rules necessary for floc to receive the same recognition. The law states that a product needs to be local and consistent in production and quality. Pineau producers all conformed to the same recipe and that’s the reason for its earlier AOC status.
But happily, thanks to the tenacity of Mr Deche, floc eventually received AOC status in 1990.