The vineyard is planted with an average distance of 3 meters. All kinds of pruning are allowed. The most used is the “double Guyot”. Some wine growers continue to harvest by hand, but the vast majority uses a harvesting machine. Harvesting may begin as soon as the grapes mature, usually at the beginning of October and ends at the end of this month.
The pressing of grapes is done immediately after harvesting in traditional horizontal plate presses or pneumatic presses. The obtained juice is fermented immediately. Chaptalisation (adding sugar) is forbidden. Pressing and fermentation are being carefully monitored because they will have a decisive influence on the final quality of the eau de vie.
While the cognac spends time in oak barrels, protected in the cellars, it will naturally take ownership, through ongoing contact with ambient air. The time spent in wood will give it its colour and final bouquet.
The Ageing – essential for an eau-de-vie to become Cognac – is done in casks of about 270 to 450 litres. The natural humidity of the cellars in which the casks are stored together with its influence on evaporation, is one of the key factors determining the maturation. When there is a balance between the humidity and drought, the eau-de-vie becomes mellow and ages harmoniously.
Long ageing in humid cellar.
The perfection of Vieille Reserve No 9 is in part due to half a century’s ageing in oak barrels. It has been put into large glass demijohns and sealed with wax after having reached the minimum legal requirement of 40° by evaporation
Tasting reveals aromas of vine-cane mushrooms, still some floral notes with touch of Apricots. Very appreciated by amateurs and connoisseurs.