MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
X.O. (Extra Old), Napoleon: The youngest eau de vie is at least 6 years old.
V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale): The youngest eau de vie in the blend is at least 4 years old.
V.S. (Very Special): The youngest eau de vie in the blend must be at least 2 years old.
Technically, Cognac is more than a wine. Its grapes begin their long journey to the marketplace as unfiltered white wine. After being doubly distilled, the liquid ages, sometimes for many years, in oak casks before being blended with other vintages or eaux de vie (French for “waters of life”).
All of this takes place in or near the town of Cognac, on the banks of the Charente River, about a three-hour TGV train ride southwest of Paris.
Half-timbered 15th century to 17th century houses line steep, winding streets, and I wandered the cobblestone lanes, shooting pictures of the Romanesque church of St. Leger and the sprawling Château de Cognac, the birthplace of the 16th century King François I.