The Charentais potstill


Three main components

The Charentais pot still (“alambic”) has three main components :

alambic charentais sans réchauffe-vin

  • Boiler or pot : Vessel holding the wine or brouillis ;
  • Still head and swan’s neck : Collect the vapours and rectify (filter) them, depending on the shape and volume of the piece (e.g. onion or olive shaped still heads) ;
  • Cooling tank and coil : Condense the vapours and regulate the temperature of the distillate.

The Charentais still is made of copper

Fabrication de l'alambic charentaisThe boiler, still-head, swan-neck and coil must be made of copper (as set down in the specifications for the AOC Cognac).

This metal is chosen for its physical properties (malleability, good heat conduction) and its chemical reactivity with certain components of the wine, which make it an indispensable catalyst for obtaining quality eaux-de-vie.