Brandy: Ingredients, types and brand names.
Introduction :- The name comes from the Dutch word (Brandewijn) which means Burnt wine. Distillation of Brandy burning process done by heat. ‘Grape Brandy’ is a mixture of distillates obtained from the fermented juice or mash of Grapes. Only distillate of grape juice can be called “Brandy”. However there are brandies from other fruits as well, such as peach, apricot, pear and apple. Such Brandies can be given name such as Peach-brandy, Apricot-Brandy etc. Brandies are aged for a minimum two years while the usual aging period is from three to eight years. It is usually marketed at 80 to 84 degree proof.
Character of Brandy:- The character is determined by the kind of grapes used, the climate, soil, cultivation and harvesting methods, fermentation and distillation process, aging and blending. Some of the favorite grapes for Brandy are:- St-emillion, folle blanche and Camembert. Some excellent brandies are grown in poor soil. However, certain characteristics of the soil like the calcium content produce better grapes.
Types of Brandy-
Cognac- Grape-brandy is produced in many countries but experts consider Cognac the best. Cognac is produced in the French district of Charente in which the city of Cognac is situated. In order to be labeled, cognac, the grapes must be grown, fermented and distilled in this area, where there are seven famous districts.Cognac brandy was created in the 17th century when the art of second distillations was discovered. Brandies are formed by the pot-still method. Cognac is matured for years in oak casks and then blended to give a fine brandy. It was created in the 17th century when the art of second distillations was discovered. Brandies are formed by the pot-still method. Cognac is matured for years in oak casks and then blended to give a fine brandy.
GRAPE VARIETIES FOR COGNAC
All White Grapes
- Emillion (elsewhere Ugni Blanc)
- Folle Blanche
TYPES OF COGNAC
- Grand Champagne – It is the cognac produced entirely from brandies, made from the grapes grown in Grande Champagne region.
- Petite Champagne – Made entirely from brandies produced from grapes grown in the Petite Champagne region.
- Fine Champagne – It is the blend of brandies produced from grapes grown in Grande Champagne (minimum 50%) and Petit Champagne areas.
GRADATION OF COGNAC:- ALPHABET & STAR SYSTEM:-
- Cognac laws is governed by ‘The Bureau National Inter professional Du Cognac’.
- VS or *** – Very Special demand a minimum age of 3 years.
- Reserve / VO / VSOP – Youngest in the blend to be at least 4 ½ years.
- Extra/ Napoleon – Youngest in the blend to be 6 years.
- Rémy Martin
*These four brands jointly have a 75% market-share
OTHER BRAND NAMES
ARMAGNAC (second only to Cognac)
- Region – Department of Gers, south-east of Bordeaux
- Grapes – same as cognac (folle blanche is also known as piquepoul)
- Continuous distillation at a low proof of 104 to 144
- Armagnac is dry in taste and bitter also.
How Armagnac is different from Cognac
- Soil – best Armagnac’s from sandy soil
- Distillation – in Armagnac Still
- Proof – Distilled at around 53% al v/v
- Character – stronger fruity nose & flavour, more pungent and heavier
- Maturation – in black oak of Gascony
Honney Bee, Brihans, Me Dowel VSOP .