2010 saw a good yield for the vineyards of Cognac.

Between September 20 and mid October 2010, the 74,486 hectares of the Cognac vineyards produced exactly 8,346,548 hectolitres of white wine, according to the figures just released by the BNIC.

Vineyard Grapes Ugni Blanc

The majority of the vineyards in the cognac region are planted with the Ugni Blanc grape – also commonly known as the dual purpose fruit, due to its ability to be used for different types of alcohol.

7,709,682 hectolitres to be turned into Cognac

Not all of the yield will be turned into brandy.  Indeed, 91% of the 2010 crop will be used for cognac, 9% for Pineau and the remainder for white and sparkling wines.  The distillers have until the 31 March 2011 to burn the rest of the white wine in the stills before the official end of the production season.  Figures tell us that there is exactly 7,709,682 hectolitres left to be distilled this year.

The transformation which takes place every year is nothing short of a miracle.  In fact, Robert Delamain wrote in his reference book of 1879-1949, that ‘whilst cognac does not have the same virtues as the waters of Lourdes, it is the result of a fortunate combination of circumstances; a natural wonder, an accident, a miracle!’

And this miracle is an annual occurrence.  For whilst the ice, snow and fog blankets the Charente countryside, and the vineyards distil their fruits, transforming the white wine from a poor, acidic and low alcohol content liquid, into a clear and aromatic eau-de-vie.  This will then, after the appropriate aging in oak barrels, become the cognac we have come to know and love.

Sources: www.sudouest.fr, bordeauxwinenews.blogs.sudouest.fr

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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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