The distillation

A millimeter art

At the end of harvesting, the distillation unit is prepared. Distillation requires a lot of care. It lasts five months and must be completed at the latest on the 31st of March of the year following the harvest.

The soil, the climate and the type of vines used are essential to the quality of the cognac. However, the know-how in distillation is just as important, and a lot more than people think . The « Charentaise » distillation is more of an art than a technique because no precise rules are set.


An essential tool whose quality will impact Cognac

If the quality of the brandy is linked to the type of wine used and the skill of the distiller, it can also depend on the still used. The still is made of copper, which has a high heat conductivity and is made up of different parts.

the oignon-shaped boiler


still head

above the boiler is placed a still head, also shaped like an oignon

The swan neck

The swan neck links the top of the still head to the cooler


heat exchanging device

It is followed by the heat exchanging device which has the same capacity as the boiler and the swan neck



The pipe is a cylindrical container filled with cooling water, which enables the condensation of vapours and the cooling process in the coil (cf the assembly diagram).


Extreme concentration

The success of the distillation process, which takes about 24 hours (12 hours for each distillation step), requires continuous care and attention, and extensive know-how on the part of the distiller. Our control of the distillation techniques (proportion of dregs, recycling of the heads and tails in wine or « brouillis », curves of temperature) will give our Cognac its personality during the ageing process.


The « Charentaise » distillation

The « Charentaise » distillation is a discontinuous process involving two distillations called «chauffes».


The “première chauffe”

The first distillation (« première chauffe ») consists in distillating the wine to obtain the first distillate called » brouillis ».

The wine is poured into the boiler with or without the dregs according to the method used. The moderate heating will progressively bring the liquid to the boil.  The alcohol vapours obtained are condensed in the cooler and flow into a cylinder containing an alcoholometer and are directed to a holding tank.

Three wine distillations are required to obtain enough brouillis for the second distillation.


    The “bonne chauffe”

    The « repasse » or « chauffe » or « bonne chauffe » is a second distillation which will give the Cognac spirit, once the head and tail of the distillation have been discarded.

    This « bonne chauffe » consists of three steps :

    • The distillation heads are milky and have a very high alcohol content
    • the middle cut or heart is a clear wine spirit that will be kept to make cognac
    • Puis les « queues » marquent la fin du distillat, dépourvues d’arômes et à faible titre alcoométrique

    The cut will separate the heart from the tails : this step is difficult and requires a subtle sense of smell on the part of the distiller who remains close to the still and must select the best timing for the cut.

    Heads and tails are distilled again with wine while the heart of the « bonne chauffe » will be stored in oak casks to start its ageing process.


    The demand for a premium product

    Our still, built in 1974, was remodelled and fitted with automatic control devices when we had it installed in 2011.

    The quality of our product strongly depends on this equipment, and that’s why we take great care of the use and maintenance of our still.

    It has a moderate capacity of 15 hectoliters which allows us to produce fine spirits with a specific character. Thanks to the know-how of our distiller Jean-Yves, we produce quality spirits with rich floral character.

    The aromatic content will be improved through the contact with the oak casks, giving our Cognac its unique personality.