What is the difference between brandy and Cognac

To become a fine Cognac connoisseur, one must know the difference between brandy and Cognac. Lucky you,this article shares everything you need to know to become an expert!

The first thing to understand is that all Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac. In other words, Cognac is a specific type of brandy that must follow stringent regulations to earn the right to be called that way.

Brandy is a distilled spirit made from any type of fermented fruit juice. For instance, some versions are made from apples (e.g., Calvados), while other brandies are produced from grapes (e.g., Pisco or Cognac). However, Cognac must be made from one of the five following white grape varieties: Colombard, Folle Blanche, Montils, Ugni Blanc and Sémillon. In order to produce our exquisite Rome De Bellegarde Cognac, we chose to use Ugni Blanc.

While brandy can be made anywhere in the world, Cognac must come from the Cognac region of France, known for its superior terroir. This region is separated into six different subregions, including Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne which produce the finest and most delicate Cognac in the world. Because we aim to provide Cognac from superior quality to our clients, Rome De Bellegarde uses grapes that are grown in the Grande Champagne region of the Cognac Appellation, also known as «The Golden Triangle».

A strict production process does not bound brandies. It first starts with the fermentation of fruit juices, which is then followed by distillation. While the method of distillation is not controlled when making brandy, all Cognac must be distilled twice in copper pot stills. The distillation process must happen between October 1stand March 31st for Cognac.

After distillation, the liquid must be aged. In order to make Cognac, the ageing process follows precise rules: it has to be aged in French oak barrels for at least two years. For a Cognac to be considered as Extra Old (XO),  it must be aged for a minimum of ten years. Since we are dedicated to offering only the finest type of Cognac, Rome De Bellegarde XO is matured in traditional barrels made from 100% aged Limousin new oak for as long as 30 years. This results in a unique and elegant Cognac that will please the most refined and exactingcustomers.

By Léah Boukobza