Cognac and the Poitou-Charentes (now part of Nouvelle-Aquitaine) region to the north of Bordeaux – and Armagnac in Gascony to the south of Bordeaux.
Cognac is a brandy made from a double distillation of grape juice, distilled in copper stills and aged in oak barrels for at least 2 years.
There is a small town of Cognac, where many of the famous Cognac houses are based (e.g. Hennessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier) The Cognac region also produces Pineau des Charentes (a blend of grape juice and cognac) and the small production of Vin De Pays (country wine)
Armagnac is a brandy produced further south in Gascony. It differs from Cognac in the grape varieties used; Cognac is distilled twice, whereas Armagnac has a single distillation; Armagnac is mainly produced by small artisan producers, whereas Cognac is dominated by large Coganc “houses”. These factors all make for distinct differences in the brandy. In France Armagnac tends to be more highly regarded, whereas internationally Cognac is more popular, for those that enjoy fruity and fiery eaux-de-vie. It will suit your taste buds if you are looking for spirits bursting with character, fruitiness and the heat of a VS Armagnac. Fruity notes dominate the aromas; heat and suppleness combine in the mouth.It can be tasted neat or with ice and is excellent for adding flavour to dishes
The other classifications (in ascending age) are VSOP, XO or Hors d’Age (BNIA)
In Armagnac the equivalent of Pineau des Charentes is Floc de Gascogne.
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