Since it is a Geographical Indication (GI), Cognac can only be produced within a delimited geographical area, defined by the French decree of 1 May 1909. The “Cognac”, “Eau-de-vie de Cognac”, and “Eau-de-vie des Charentes” appellations are exclusively restricted to wine spirits grown and distilled within the defined regions of Charente-Maritime and Charente, as well as several villages in the Dordogne and Deux-Sèvres departments.

Keys figures

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  • Vineyard stretching out over 78,000 hectares
  • 1 white wine region in France
  • 10% of the total French vineyard area
  • 19 hectares, average area under vine of each wine estate

Henri Coquand: the first man to map out the different “crus”

 

Henri Coquand (1813-1881), a geology professor, studied the Cognac region’s soil and terroir in the 19th century and, with the help of a knowledgeable taster, classified the various soils according to the type of eau-de-vie they produced. This led to the definition of various Cognac producing areas in around 1860 and served as the basis for the decree of 13 January 1938, setting the boundaries of these areas.