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The Brandy

The term "brandy" originates from the Dutch word "brandewijn," meaning "burnt wine." Essentially, brandy is distilled wine, where alcohol is extracted by heating the wine in copper alembics. This process results in a spirit with a higher alcohol content and a distinctive, warming flavor, which further develops through aging in wooden barrels, typically oak.

Different Types of Brandy

There are many types of brandy, each with its unique personality. Take Cognac, for example. This brandy hails from the Cognac region in France. Then, there's Armagnac, another French brandy from the Armagnac region. Fruit brandies, made from fruits other than grapes, include applejack, made from apples, and kirschwasser, made from cherries. And let’s not forget Armenian brandy, gaining recognition as a unique category in the world of spirits.

Is Cognac a Brandy?

Yes, Cognac is a type of brandy. Here's an explanation for clarity: Cognac is a specific variety of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France. To be labeled as cognac, the brandy must adhere to strict production methods and regulations set by the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC). This includes being made from specific grape varieties, such as Ugni Blanc, and being distilled twice in copper pot stills. Additionally, cognac must age for at least two years in French oak barrels.

Discovering Armenian Brandy

Similar to French cognac, Armenian brandy is crafted according to strict specifications that define its standards and production methods. Here are some key points about Armenian brandy production, focusing on the renowned ARARAT brand, the foremost global ambassador of Armenian Brandy.

Grapes used in Armenian Brandy

Armenian brandy is made from grapes grown in Armenia. Armenian law specifies 35 authorized grape varieties for its production. Notable among them are Voskehat, Chilar, Kangun, Garan Dmak, Mskhali, Lalvari, Areni Noir, etc. Red grapes can indeed be used in Armenian brandy production, provided they undergo vinification similar to white grapes.

Distillation of ARARAT Armenian Brandy

The distillation process is crucial. According to production standards, wine goes through two distillation stages in a Charentais Alembic still: primary and secondary, fractionated distillation. Initially, crude alcohol up to 32° is obtained. This alcohol undergoes secondary distillation, dividing it into "head," "heart," and "tail" fractions. ARARAT brandy uses only the "heart," the purest, finest, and most delicate fraction of brandy spirit.

Aging of ARARAT Armenian Brandy

Armenian brandy is aged in oak barrels, as regulated locally, allowing it to develop flavor and complexity. At ARARAT, barrels are crafted from trees over 70 years old, taking several years to prepare rivets and assemble—each cask handmade. With the unique structure of Caucasian oak, future ARARAT brandy gains distinct characteristics with hints of dried fruits, spices, vanilla, and chocolate. Alcohol matures in barrels from three years to over half a century, enriching various shades of color, taste, and aroma. The preceding generations of masters' experience predicts alcohol properties decades later.

Blending

The culmination of brandy creation, blending is the most creative and responsible process in the entire chain, with inspiration and genuine craftsmanship. A blend mixes brandy spirits of various ages and grape varieties. Master blenders navigate a complex palette of tastes and aromas, often working with over 700 spirit types to create a new blend.

Brandy boasts a fascinating history and diverse styles. Armenian brandy offers a unique experience with its exceptional quality and distinctive characteristics. Whether a seasoned brandy enthusiast or novice, exploring Armenian brandy promises a journey worth taking. Savor the aromas, enjoy the elegant complexity of this timeless spirit, and discover the full ARARAT brandy collection available in our online shop Armenian Brandy and Wine.

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