The harvest is over and this week the distilling begins in earnest, and will continue through until next March.  And there are new laws surrounding the amounts that producers are allowed to work with before needing to conform to the massive amount of bureaucracy and legalities that are involved with the trade.

Distillery of Chateau des Plassons

Since March 2011, new laws are allowing the smaller distillers (less than 1,300 hectolitres of pure alcohol per day) to work under a less constraining regime.  This means that for a distiller with perhaps only one or two stills, that they don’t have to follow the complicated and distinctly costly path of the larger distillers.

Unions have been seeking this distinction for years, and, according to Director of the SGV, Marlene Tisseire, this is fantastic news for wine.

The same logic is also applied to the holding of eaux-de-vie, and once again all of the established unions share the same point of view.  They say that a trading balance will only be achieved when the majority of eaux-de-vie is in the hands of the producers.

Have a look at some pictures of the Cognac harvest 2011.


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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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