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Armagnac, France’s oldest spirit, produced from … wine
21 Jul, 2015

armagnac

The legend says that Armagnac is the oldest of all the spirits in France… It was born from the shock of three cultures: the vineyard from Romans, the alembic from Arabs and the barrel from the Celts.

A document thoroughly conserved in the Vatican confirmed that in 1310, Armagnac was already produced…

Four things you need to remember about this centuries-old spirit.

 

A God’s spirit born in the South-west region

In Gascogne, old men say that at the end of the sixth day, God was watching his work on earth. He found out that he forgot a small piece of land and was moved by the tough climate of this region. He dropped a tear and Armagnac was born.

This land of the Armagnac appellation is located in the South-west region in France between Landes (for bas-Armagnac), Lot-et-Garonne (Armagnac Tenareze) and Gers (haut-armagnac).

 

Armagnac production

Armagnac is produced from wine. The distillation of 5 liters of wine will yield only one liter of Armagnac. Then the spirit is aged in oakwood barrel for 10 to 40 years.

 

The soil is the key

Between two Armagnac with the same production process and same grapes blend, the taste can be totally different. The reason is the soil. Limestone or sand have a great influence on the taste of the spirit.

 

Tasting Armagnac

While ageing in barrels, Armagnac develops vanilla and prune flavors. Strong in alcohol, you drink Armagnac in very small doses: 1cl is enough! Pour your Armagnac in large balloon glass and serve it between 18 and 20°C.

In South of France they usually do not rinse or wash the glass after drinking, they just flip it and wait for the next day. In the morning, smell your glass: it is said to be the best part of the tasting!

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