What’s the Difference Between Brandy and Cognac

Many people need help understanding the relationship between Brandy and Cognac. There is a big difference between Brandy and Cognac. To give you a clearer perception of these two types of spirits, the following is an introduction to the difference between Brandy and Cognac.


Are Brandy and Cognac the same?

Many people need to need clarification on the relationship between these two. Through fermentation and distillation, all spirits made from grapes and various fruits are collectively called brandy, and Cognac is made from the same grapes and wine as brandy. Still, France has a strict decree that several conditions must be met for a distilled wine to qualify for the Cognac name, making it different and valuable from ordinary brandy.

Is brandy the same as Cognac?

What conditions are met to be called Cognac?

Condition 1: It must be produced in the legal area surrounding the city of Cognac in the Charente department of France. The soil and climate in this area are ideal for the growth of grapes used to make Cognac and are different from other regions.

Condition 2: 95% of the grapes used to make the Cognac must be of the Ugni Blanc variety.

Condition 3: Charente traditional stills must be used. This is the most expensive distillation apparatus, but the one that preserves the aromas of the wine.

Condition 4: Secondary distillation must be used.

Condition 5: The maximum distillation volume must not exceed 2,500 liters.

Condition 6: The distillation strength is only up to 72% of the alcohol strength to preserve the aromas.

Condition 7: It must be aged in oak barrels for at least two years, or at least six years, in the case of X.O cognacs.

Condition 8: The finished product must not be less than 40% alcohol by volume.

Condition 9: The grade is determined by the age of the youngest original wine used in the blend. For example, an X.O grade Cognac requires six years for the youngest original spirit. On the other hand, Brandy is more relaxed, with only one year of aging.

To carry the name of Cognac, all nine of these conditions must be met, while the average brandy does not have these specifications, and the relative cost and selling price are, of course, different.

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