Armadis les vignerons du gerland - gers (32)

From the former province which gave it its name, Armagnac is produced using traditional methods making it part of the prestigious Products from France range

 

The vineyard

Located in the heart of Lower Armagnac, we have one of the region’s largest vineyards: 3200 hectares of vines including 62 hectares all in one piece thus guaranteeing consistent quality.


All of the vineyards in the Lower Armagnac region are renowned for their tawny sand soil. The best suited wines, from the Baco, Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche grape varieties, are selected then distilled in our column stills. This procedure provides traditional rich and typical aromas. These brandies, aged in oak casks in our cellars for several years, will take on the particular amber colour and subtle aromas which are characteristic of Armagnac.

 

Distillation

Traditionally column stills are used in Armagnac. This apparatus is made from copper and produces 20 hectolitres of pure alcohol every 24 hours. The land used, the production of wines and their analytic standard are carefully controlled by the National Institute of Designations of Origin (INAO).

The distilling period begins as soon as the wines have fermented (early November) and must end in late January of the year after the grapes have been picked.

 

Ageing

This is a delicate and complex phase:

  • Delicate :
    Armagnac brandy, with its characteristic flowery and fresh fruit aromas when it leaves the still, needs to be enriched and matured in contact with oak wood in the ageing casks.
    During this ageing period, the brandy extracts noble compounds from the oak wood which will then oxidize over the years (vanillin, hemicellulose, tannins).
    The Armagnac’s aromas will develop from a flowery touch to that of cooked and crystallised fruit. The Armagnac’s structure will intensify and take shape with a creamy edge.
  • Complex :
    The atmosphere of the maturing cellars (hygrometry and temperature) encourages interaction between the natural Armagnac aromas and the oak wood needed for the final bouquet.
    Each of the stages of the brandy’s transformation is appreciated by tasting.
    The armagnacs regularly undergo active aeration by pumping so as to intensify oxidation.
    The choice of wood in the manufacture of casks remains a major requirement with regard to the quality of the Armagnac ageing process. The European oak from our region and Limousin are the best suited to this.
    The "stock" of ageing casks needs to be balanced with new wooden casks with all their tannins and more or less ‘‘worn out’’ casks which will help these tannins to mature.
    The range of VS, VSOP, XO and EXTRA Armagnacs, as well as the National Institute of Designations of Origin impose a minimum number of years ageing:
    • VS 4 years
    • VSOP 6 years
    • NAPOLEON 10 years
    • EXTRA 16 years
    • XO 20 years


Vintages must exclusively come from the same year as the grapes were picked.
Eg. 1958 Vintage – 1958 Harvest

Fermenting & Blends

When it leaves the stills Armagnac brandy is between 55% and 65% proof according to its use (Armagnac to be drunk within the first 10 years or Armagnac de Garde). Traditionally, Armagnac, like other spirits, should be drunk between 40% and 45% proof.

The proof is progressively reduced over the years by blending with ‘‘brandy wines’’ or slowly and meticulously by adding demineralised water.

‘‘Brandy wines’’ are obtained from demineralised water and pre-blended Armagnac so as to obtain a 25% proof product.

Blends

Once it has been decided to market a category of Armagnac and all the sales work has been carried out based on this quality (VSOP, XO, EXTRA), the bouquet and colour must be consistent because the consumer is used to a particular type of Armagnac.
Only tasting by our cellar masters guarantees this consistency.
Their knowledge of each vintage and their experience in the art of combining and blending them is our quality guarantee.