Why distill?


Distillation concentrates the aromas by extracting and filtering out the best volatile compounds from the wine

Distillation charentaiseAlcohol is a product of the fermentation of sugars found naturally in fruit as fructose and glucose.

Alcohol is also found in combination with many other compounds and must therefore be isolated from them.

This operation is performed by distillation.

The principle of distillation is based on the differences in volatility of these compounds (their ability to evaporate depends on their boiling point: the most volatile compound has a lower boiling point than the least volatile).

Thus, the eau-de-vie contains only the volatile substances, which make up the main features of the bouquet.

During distillation, 3 important events occur :

  • extraction of volatile substances (the quality of the other substances plays a part, since they represent 0.3 to 1% of the alcohol) ;
  • filtering of volatile substances (rectification) : for a wine eau-de-vie, this simply means eliminating the unwanted volatile substances ;

  • transformation that occurs during the distillation process: creation of aromatic compounds that can affect the taste of the eaux-de-vie.
  • In the end, it can be said that, alcohol (ethanol) is the vehicle that draws out the volatile compounds.