Cognac: Origins and Production

In the sixteenth century, wine growers decided to distil wines of uneven quality, produced in large quantities. The Chevalier de la Croix Maron had the idea of burning that wine a second time. Thus, he obtained a very pure eau-de-vie at 70%. By mixing it with water, he gave birth to Cognac.

The production of Cognac goes through the distillation of dry acidic white wine. It is processed through two heating episodes as to obtain a Cognac eau-de-vie titrating 70 degrees. Stored in oak barrels, it takes the time to improve with age.

Cognacs classify according to its age and its cru

Carte des Crus de Cognac

Fours age categories for Cognac:

– Three Star Cognac start at two and a half years old
– VSOP Cognac is aged 5 to 10 years
– Napoléon Cognac is aged 10 to 20 years
– XO Cognac has no age limit

The six cru in our region are:

– La Grande Champagne
– La Petite Champagne
– Les Borduries
– Les Fins Bois
– Les Bons Bois
– Les Bois Ordinaires

How to accurately choose Cognac?

Appellations (or Designations)

  • The Designation « Cognac », « eau-de-vie de Cognac » or « Eau-de-vie des Charentes » Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée eaux-de-vie issued of a viticultural origin can be preceded by the word « Fine ». This is an optional denomination. Traditionally, Cognac is the result of a blend of aged eaux-de-vie , although that is not compulsory. Should a cru be mentioned on the label, this means that 100% of eaux-de-vie composing the blend is issued from that cru. For example «Appellation Cognac Petite Champagne contrôlée».
  • The Designation «Cognac Fine Champagne Contrôlée» Eaux-de-vie exclusively from Grande Champagne (minimum 50%) or Petite Champagne regions.

Ageing Denominations

Ageing denominations are an indication as to the age of the youngest eau-de-vie used in the blend.


  • Three Star or VS : the youngest eau-de-vie present in the blend must be at least 2 years old (ageing count 2)
  • VSOP : the youngest eau-de-vie present in the blend must be at least 4 years old (ageing count 4)
  • Napoléon, XO**, Extra**, Hors d’âge** : the youngest eau-de-vie present in the blend must be at least 6 years old (ageing count 6). Generally, each wine grower uses eaux-de-vie that are older that the required minimum for the conception of their blends. They may have aged for several decades for the most prestigious denominations. ** : these designations will reach the ageing count 10 in 2018 (minimum 10 years of ageing for the youngest eau-de-vie)
  • VintagesThese are Cognacs whose eaux-de-vie all form part of one and same year. The harvest year is present on the label. This is a rare habit with Cognac.


The distinguishing features of Vignoble Vincent Cognacs

Les Cognacs Vignoble VincentThe Vignoble Vincent Cognac vine is located in an area known as «fin-bois», the Matha region.

Our range of Cognacs is composed of:

– Cognac Old Reserve 1972, round, full-bodied and generous with a light wooden flavour,
– Cognac VS 2008 will delight all connoisseurs’ palate, who are exploring for new tastes and experiences,

> Find out more about Vignoble Vincent Vintage Cognacs