Characteristics of the wineVINIFICATION
Acidic and low in alcohol: Two essential qualities for a wine intended for distillation
As mentioned above, must intended for vinification in the Cognac region, yields wines with very particular qualities: low alcohol levels (about 9% abv.), enabling better concentration of the wine’s aromatic compounds; and high acidity, an indispensable quality for natural preservation of the wine.
At the time they are to be distilled, wines must have a minimum alcoholic degree of 7% and a maximum alcoholic degree of 12%. Their volatile acidity content must be equal to or less than 12.25 milliequivalents per litre.
Vinification in the Cognac region: Addition of sugar or sulfur is prohibited
The particularity of vinification in the Cognac region is that chaptalization and addition of sulphur are prohibited (the use of sulphur dioxide is forbidden during fermentation).
If it were used, SO2 would be concentrated by distillation and create unacceptable flaws in Cognac eaux-de-vie.
Two fermentations: Alcoholic then malolactic
We will expand upon these two steps in the following chapters.