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Cloud Estate 360 Armagnac
Armagnac is a beverage that dates back to the Roman times. Being the oldest French eau-de-vie (“water of life” – referring to a clear brandy), its commercialisation begun in the 15th century, between 1411 and 1441. It was in the 17th century when Armagnac markets were first put up in Mont de-Marsan as well as in Aire-sur l’Adour, and it was around 1730 when eau-de-vie was identified as a commercial product in the market. Due to fluctuations in sales, eau-de-vie had to be stored in wooden barrels for ease and transportation and efficient storage. The bottling of Armagnac begun after the war of 39-45, as demand for the product grew significantly. It was determined that by bottling the product, consumers would be more aware of the product they were receiving and its authenticity.
The production of Armagnac varies. For example, 30% of the production of Armagnac is made using the Baco grape variety which provides a natural resistance to mildew and odium. This allows wine growers to use only half of the phytosanitary products that would normally be used. On another hand, 20% – 30% of Armagnac production is carried out by alembics that use wood or proprietors that use wood as an energy source to fuel the alembics for distillation. The grapes used for Armagnac are harvested in October. They are then pressed and the juice naturally ferments, resulting in a low-alcohol wine that is acidic and therefore capable of retaining its freshness.
The production of Armagnac begins with its specific cultivation from a plot of vines. The distillation process then uses a traditional artisanal size alembic for one round of column distillation. The product is then aged in specific cellars with ideal ageing conditions, ensuring quality control over the first year of ageing. These are product control measures implemented by the INAO and are believed to increase the value of Armagnac due to proving its legitimacy.