Explore the secrets of Armagnac: Discover the history, production and flavors of this iconic spirit.
Where does this mysterious name come from, which sounds like a sweet perfume of adventure?
The history of the appellation “Armagnac” goes back to the 13th century, when we find the first written traces of the name “Armanhac”, which comes from the Gascon word “armanh”, meaning “country of stones“. This region is indeed rich in limestone soils, which are suitable for the cultivation of vines.
Over time, Armanhac became Armagnac, and the reputation of this spirit has crossed the borders. Today, Armagnac is appreciated all over the world for its unique taste and aromatic complexity. We find notes of dried fruits, vanilla, prune, cinnamon…
First of all, it must be produced exclusively in the delimited region of the appellation, which extends over three departments in southwestern France: Gers, Landes and Lot-et-Garonne.
Secondly, Armagnac must be made from certain authorized grape varieties, such as Baco, Ugni Blanc, Colombard or Folle Blanche.
The grapes are harvested by hand, and the distillation must be done on site, according to traditional methods.
Aging is also a key step in the production of Armagnac. It must be aged in oak barrels for at least one year, but most Armagnacs are aged much longer, sometimes for several decades.
Finally, the Armagnac must be bottled in the region of production, and each bottle must bear a mention of the producer, the date of bottling, as well as the mention “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Armagnac”.
Haut Armagnac: located in the Gers department, this terroir is renowned for producing elegant and complex Armagnacs, which give the grapes a nice acidity and a great finesse.
Bas Armagnac: located in the Landes department, this terroir is known for producing lighter and fruitier Armagnacs. The soils are sandier, which gives the grapes a softer texture and more delicate aromas.
Armagnac Ténarèze: located in the Gers department, this terroir is considered the most recent of the three, but it is no less interesting. The soils are clayey-siliceous, which gives the grapes a more robust structure.
There are several authorized grape varieties for the production of Armagnac. Here are the grape varieties used by Encantada:
Baco: created in the 19th century from crosses between Folle Blanche and Noah, this grape variety is now exclusive to Armagnac. It gives rich and powerful Armagnacs, with aromas of ripe fruits, spices and vanilla.
Ugni Blanc: this grape variety is the most widespread in the Cognac region and is also used to produce Armagnac. It produces lighter, fruitier spirits with notes of citrus and white flowers.
Colombard: native to the South West of France, this grape variety is also used to produce Cognac and dry white wines. It brings to Armagnacs aromas of exotic fruits, peach and pear, as well as a nice acidity.
Folle Blanche: once the most commonly used grape variety for Armagnac, it produces very fine and elegant spirits, with aromas of white flowers and fresh fruit.
Vintage Armagnac is produced from grapes grown in a single year and from the same harvest. This allows it to reflect the unique characteristics of the production year.
A vintage must be aged for at least 10 years in oak barrels before being bottled.
An assemblage is a variety of Armagnac that is produced by blending several eaux-de-vie from different harvest years, unlike vintage Armagnac.
The objective of blending is to create a balanced Armagnac, with consistent aromas from year to year.
This category gathers a selection of exceptional products from the Gascony region in France. You will find there white Armagnac as well as brandies of Gascony.
Discover a unique tasting experience for Armagnac lovers. Ideal for tastings with friends or as a gift choice for spirits lovers.