MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
The Cognac region was mainly Protestant and with the Edict of Nantes guaranteeing freedom of worship and faith the people felt safe. The Sun King, Louis the 14th, cancelled the edict and these Protestant families were forced to leave. They emigrated to England, Ireland, or Holland and began to import the product that their relatives in the Cognac region worked so hard to produce. This helped to establish the export network that eventually included the West Indies, North America, and Indian Ocean Islands.
Principal regional cities and trading posts were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries.
By the end of the 19th century phylloxera had reached the Cognac region, but after a short time this area became the leaders in replanting until they were the largest producers of France’s white wines. The Charentais had to re-establish and open new markets throughout the world. They endeavored to protect against Cognac’s imitators and guarantee quality and maintain the region’s global economy.
Now 20,000 winegrowers, on slightly more than 80,000 hectares in the Charente and Charente-Maritime, produce cognac. This region is further divided into the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fine Bois, Bon Bois, and Bois Ordinaries. Appellations for cognac is of little importance because most cognacs are mixtures of different origins. The millesimes, or year of birth, is far less important than for wine because the cognac ceases to mature after it is placed into a sealed glass container. In actuality the law forbids putting a date on most cognac because the label would describe the youngest eaux-de-vie in its blend. In addition, the words “chateau” and “domaine” are rarely used because the blendings of eaux-de-vie do not originate from one specific place. Vines are planted with nine foot spaces between to allow for maximum exposure to the sun.