While cognac is most often associated with France, it’s not actually the only type of brandy that can be considered cognac. Brandy is a spirit made by distilling wine or apples, among other types of fruit, in various locations around the world. Cognac refers to any brandy from France that has met certain standards, namely where the grapes used to make it must be grown in Cognac region and distilled there as well.
The History of Cognac
The name cognac comes from the town of Cognac in the Charente region of France. The historical origin of the cognac story begins with the grape harvest in Burgundy, an area that is today known for exceptional wine production. During this time, wine was brought to Gascony where it was distilled into brandy. At this point in history, both areas were part of France and shared a border. In the 1800’s, Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the area. As was his tradition, he favored French products and enforced French wine production requirements. The vineyards were expanded and brandy distillation ended in Gascony and replaced it with more wine production.
You should Buy Cognac and brandy as it is considered a terroir brandy, meaning it’s made in one region of France by distilling there using grapes grown in that very region. In the case of cognac, the region referred to is the famous Cognac region in France. Cognac distilling began in Gascony when the French wine industry required brandy production in a different region. This was done to help with exports and create a more consistent product from one year to the next.