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Discover Wine Regions: Armagnac

The Armagnac region lies between the Adour and Garonne rivers in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

The Armagnac region lies between the Adour and Garonne rivers in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Armagnac Map

The region was granted AOC status in 1936. The official production area is divided into three districts that lie in the departements of Gers, Landes, and Lot-et-Garonne.

The region contains 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of grape-producing vines. The May 25, 1909 Falliere’s decree describes the three districts: Bas-Armagnac, Armagnac-Ténarèze, Haut-Armagnac. Armagnac is traditionally distilled once at 52% of alcohol, which results initially in a more fragrant and tasty spirit than Cognac, where double distillation takes place. However, long aging in oak barrels softens the taste and causes the development of more complex flavours and a brown colour. Aging in the barrel removes a part of the alcohol and water by evaporation (known as the angels’ share) and allows more complex aromatic compounds to appear by oxidation, which further modifies the flavour. When the Armagnac is considered as matured, it is transferred to large glass bottles (called “Dame Jeanne”) for storage. The main difference between Armagnac and other spirits is that, due to its relatively low proof, it is generally not diluted with water and therefore does not require flavour or colour enhancers as do the major other brandies.

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