The name brandy comes from the Dutch word 'brandewijn', meaning burnt wine.
Most brandies are made from grapes, so brandy origins have historically aligned with wine regions. This explains terms such as premier 'cru' or 'grand cru', indicating that the grapes are from top vineyards. This selection brings you the full range, from the centuries-old aristocrat of brandies, Cognac, to rural English cider brandy.
Cognac is made in the Charentes region of southwest France. Made mainly from Ugni Blanc, it is distilled twice in a traditional Charentais pot still. After ageing in oak barrels, the cellar master blends aged ‘eaux de vie’. The labelling designations are: VS (Very Special) with a minimum of two years’ ageing, VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) four years and XO (Extra Old) six years.
Armagnac is a style of brandy and the oldest distilled spirit of France, dating from the 12th century. It is made south of Charentes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Unlike Cognac, it is usually distilled only once through a continuous still to give a more characterful, fruity spirit.
From the mellow-scented orchards of Normandy in northern France, where fragrant, golden Calvados is distilled from late-harvest apples, to the sun-soaked hills of Penedès, where Spain’s dark, Christmas-cake-like brandy lies soaking up spice in old barrels, these brandies provide a wide scope of flair and flavour.