The word Brandy comes from the Dutch word brandewijn, (“burn wine”).
Dutch traders who introduced to Northern Europe from Southern France and Spain in the 16th century described wine
that has been “burnt”, or boiled in order to distilled.
Arab alchemist experimented with distilling grapes and other fruits
in order to make medicinal spirits. Their knowledge soon spread beyond the borders of Islam, grape brandy production appeared
in Spain and probably Irland via missionary monks.
Brandy is a spirit made from fruit juice or
fruit pulp and skin, broken down into three basic groupings; Grape Brandy, distilled from fermented grape juice or crush, but not pressed grape pulp and skin, Pomace Brandy, made from the press grape pulps, skins, and stems that remains after the grapes are crushed
to extract most of the juice for wine, Fruit Brandy, is the default term for all Brandies that are made from fermenting fruit other than grapes,
it should not be confused with Fruit-flavored Brandy.
See what Wikipedia has to say about the History of Brandy
| Types of Brandy|
Cognac and Armagnac
Cognac is the best
known type of Brandy in the world. The Cognac region is located just north of Bordeaux. The region is subdivided into six
- Petite Champagne,
hectares together with Bons Bois).
out from the four central growth areas are the Bons Bois and the Bois Ordinaires.
With a poorer soil and very much influenced by the maritime climate,
this area of 20,000
produces eaux de vie that are less demonstrative and age more quickly.
These lesser crus are excluded from blends by some manufacturers. __
(4160 hectares total)
The smallest cru, eaux de vie from the Borderies are the most distinctive, with nutty
aromas and flavour, as well as a distinct violet or iris characteristic.
Cognacs made with a high percentage of these eaux de vie, for example,
"Cordon Bleu" by Martell, are dominated by these very sought-after flavours __ Wikipedia
Fins Bois (34265 hectares
and faster ageing eaux de vie suitable for establishing the base of some cognacs.
Rounded and fruity, with an agreeable oiliness. __ Wikipedia
The first two produce the best Cognac. Virtually all Cognac are a blend of Brandies
from different vintage and growing zones. There are some terms to difference Cognacs: V.S (very superior)or V.S.P (very superior
pale), a minimum of two years aging in a cask, although the average is four to five years; V.S.O.P (very superior old pale),
a minimum of four years cask aged for the youngest Cognac in the blend, although industry average is being between 10 to 15
years; X.O (extra old), a minimum of six years for the youngest Cognac in the blend, the average age running is 20 years or
The oldest cognacs
are removed to glass containers to prevent lost from evaporation and excessive woody flavores.
Armagnac is the oldest type of Brandy in France, located
in the southwest corner, there are three regional growing zones. The best Armagnacs are aged in cask from the local Monlezun
see what Wikipedia has to say about Types of Brandy
| To name a few|
| Cognac- Outstanding brands: |
Camus Grand VSOP,
Courvoisier (VS, VSOP, Napoleon, XO Imperial),
Delamain, Hardy (VS, XO),
Hennessy (VS, VSOP, XO, Paradis, Richard, Pure white),
VSOP, Antique, Family Reserve),
Martell (VS, Reserve, Cordon Bleu),
Remy Martin (Grand Cru, VSOP, 1738 Accord Royal, XO Special, Extra, Louis
des Ducs, Janneau (Tradition VS, 5 year-old, Anniversaire).
Calvados- Outstanding brands:
Boulard (VSOP, XO, Horse D’Age).
Brandy de Jerez
is made by the sherry houses around the city of Jerez de la Frontera, the
Southwest corner of Spain. However, Brandy de Jerez is made by wines produce elsewhere in Spain, and shipped to Jerez for
aging using a solera system.
To name a few
Cardenal Mendoza, Carlos I, Fundador, Gonzalez Byass Soberano, Gran Duque
de Alba, Osborne Magno.
Italy has a long history of Brandy production dating back to at least the 16th century.
Grappa is probably the most known Italian Pomace Brandy.
To name a few
Bocchino, Francoli, Grappa Julia, Jacopo Poli, Ramazzotti Grappa.
German monks were distilling Brandy by the 14th century, now
on most German Brandies are been made from imported wine rather than the more valuable local grapes.
Greece produces pot-distilled Brandies like the well known Metaxa,
flavored with Muscat wine, anise, or other spices.
To name a few
In Latin America the best known type is the Pisco, a clear raw Brandy from Peru and Chile.
- Pisco is the national drink of Chile and Peru, and its name probably comes from the port of Pisco
in Peru. Pisco’s origins date back to the Spanish conquistadors, who planted vineyards in the early 1600s so that they
could have wine for communion (and drinking), then began to distill the wine. The resulting spirit became known as Pisco in
the second half of the 19th century, and was given and appellation in 1931.
To name a few
Alto del Carmen, Bauza Gran Pisco.
| French | Spanish | Italian |
| Germany | Greece | Peru & Chile | Apple and other Fruit Brandies |
is one of the few regions in France that does not have a substancial grape wine industrie, instead is apple country. There
is a tradition of producing hard and sweet cider, that in turn can be distilled into an Apple Brandy Known as Calvados.
Black forest region of Bavaria in Germany and Alsace in France, produce what is known as
- Cherry Brandies (kir in France, Kirchwasser
Raspberry Brandies (Framboise and Himbergeist),
- Pear Brandies(Poire).
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