Alambic Charentais

COGNAC DISTILLATION, ALAMBIC CHARENTAIS

DISTILLATION

When the fermentation is finished, this white wine, without any process of stabilisation, is quickly distilled to produce 'eau-de-vie', the future COGNAC. Distillation starts as soon as the wine has completed its fermentation and does not cease until the following 31 March. Distillation is carried out twice in a double process, two 'chauffes', according to the traditional Charentais method. It is the 'heart' of the second distillation which is called the 'bonne chauffe' which is set aside in oak barrels to become COGNAC.

The shape of the Charentais Alambic has not changed, nor has the process, but the volume of the warming tank today is 25 hectolitres and technical advances now allow each stage of the process to be programmed.

(The photo shows our old Charentais Alambic – a real museum piece)