The little brother of Cognac: What is Pineau? How is it made?

Pineau des Charentes or just 'Pineau' is a French aperitif (great for a cocktail ...) The drink is actually not very well known abroad, but in Charente it plays a rather important role. Pineau is fortified wine, vin de liqueur, blended of slightly fermented grape must and eaux-de-vie (Cognac). Pineau should be served chilled, at 8 to 10 °C, in a tulip shaped glass (like the sherry glass). The shape of such a glass lets the aroma develope. There are comparable,...
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Complete History of Cognac: A Long Way to Eau De Vie

The history of Cognac actually starts in the third century. The region and the beverage Cognac has a long history and involves all kind of nations, merchants, kings and aristocrats, natural catastrophes, wars and cold winters. Despite all this, the product kept getting better and better, century after century. Read the full history of Cognac, "the spirit of the gods". The first vines in the region First century: Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus forbids cultivating wine III. century: Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus...
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What is Cognac?… Some facts and a great video!

Cognacs are created by blending different spirits (eaux-de-vie). The eau-de-vie is made through a special distillation process where the grapes are distilled twice. The white wines, which are used for distilling, can only be produced in the region of the Charente, more specifically the area surrounding the town called Cognac. The region is divided into six different zones, terroirs, dependent on soil quality such as chalk, sand or clay. The distilling takes place in the "alembic Charentais", a special pot...
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Farmers, Resellers and Players: The structure of the Cognac business

Basically, this is how it goes: Farmers grow and produce wine, distill the eau-de-vie (spirit) and make their own Cognac. But some companies, especially the bigger ones, buy different eaux-de-vie from the different growing areas and blend their Cognacs. Here are some basics one should know: About 95% of the spirit is exported The core markets are North America, Europe and Asia Even in the economic crisis, Cognac remains quite stable 4 big Cognac Houses control more than 80% of the market The 4...
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Distilling Cognac with Alambic Pot Still: Bad wine for Great Brandy

The magic cognac pot still! How does it work? Distillation takes place in traditionally shaped copper stills, also known as "Alembic Charentais". Also known as alambic, it depends on the language. The design and dimensions of the pot stills are legally controlled. Two distillations must be carried out; the resulting eau-de-vie is a colourless spirit of about 70% alcohol (the aging process afterwards makes the alcohol level drop to around about 40%). How does Cognac distilling work? The wine that is supposed to...
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