Manufacturing - Distillation

On this page, we invite you to better know the art of distillation, which will help you in your approach to Armagnac.

A magic moment

If distillation is not specific to Armagnac, it takes on, from Villeneuve-de-Marsan, to Eauze, via Nogaro and as far as Lectoure, extraordinary aspects, times of often unforgettable exchanges. Gascony and its gastronomic, festive traditions are undoubtedly no stranger to the warmth that surrounds distillation in Armagnac. Not so long ago, when at the end of the road to the property appeared the traveling still of the distiller drawn by a pair of oxen, the party was already in everyone's eyes. For a few days, a few weeks, we would transform the wine of the harvest into eau-de-vie, a magical moment and bearer of many hopes.

Around the still

We understand that distillation is one of the highlights of the year. After the harvest, it is time for the distillation of wines specifically made to be distilled. The distillation period runs from November to March (at the latest) even if, in recent years, this period has been regularly reduced by decree. This distillation is carried out at the property (either with its own still, or with the arrival of a traveling distiller who moves from property to property) or in a distillery. Almost all Armagnac is distilled continuously, unlike cognac, which is a follower of double distillation.

The Armagnac still

The Armagnac still, a continuous still, is a copper device that was invented by Sieur Tuillère, in Auch, in the Gers. A patent was filed in 1818. Since then, many improvements have been made by various manufacturers in the Gers and the Landes in particular. We can mention a few major manufacturers such as Sier, Orthès, Gazagne... or more contemporary Sofac in Condom, a company that still manufactures beautiful copper machines for Armagnac but also for distillers all over the world.

The art of distillation

Distillation, like making wine, is an art. Each artist, the distiller, has a technique, a know-how, an experience that makes him a major player in the development of Armagnac. Each distiller also keeps a few secrets that will make the difference between the eaux-de-vie. On leaving the still, the colorless eau-de-vie has an alcohol content of 52 to 72% even if the average is between 55% and 60%. Armagnac, at this stage, is characterized by its fruitiness (plum and grape) and its floral side (vine flower, lime blossom). It only remains to reach the oak barrel to begin aging.

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Maison de l'Armagnac - Distillation
Maison de l'Armagnac - Distillation