During the 17th century, people began to manufacture “Cognac” by distilling the local white wine from the French region of Charente.
In the beginning the great demand was from the, mostly Dutch, shipping industry but the drink became known in other areas as well.
The popularity of these wines and the resulting brandy gave the region’s product a good name.
The town of “Cognac” has defined the name of the distillate from this region since this time.
Lice infestation and protection
Toward the end of the 19th century, the region’s grapes and produce suffered greatly from grape aphid.
In a short time, the vast majority of the vines were affected and destroyed.
By intervening and re-entering other grape varieties, the region and their product were saved from oblivion.
For this, the Ugni Blanc grape was grafted, also known in this region as St-Émilion.
This variety is reasonably frost-resistant in part due to its small round grapes and very suitable for distillation.
AOC and BNIC
Due to the catastrophe of a few years earlier, calls for protection and regulation regarding Cognac increased.
In the early 20th century, cognac became an AOC.
Toe after the 2 world wars the need revived, the BNIC was established. (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac)
This established grapes, production methods and naming to protect the market.
Historically, the largest market for Cognac has always been England and the Commonwealth, but in recent decades demand from America and later Asia has increased dramatically.
This is partly due to the “luxury” image the drink carries.
Our own John B. Cognac XO of organic origin, prized for its fruity and nutty flavor, is a good example.