The base wines here are made from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, known as Picpoule, Colombard, Blanquette and the hybrid Baco Blanc 22A. These wines are distilled in a special Armagnac still and are only distilled once. This operates as a type of continuous still, which is operated to give a weaker spirit that must come off the still between 72-52% ABV, and in practice averages about 60% ABV. The resulting spirit is one with more pronounced aroma and flavor and less elegance and finesse.
In this type of still, the wine is heated by the condenser itself, and there are relatively few plates in the column. This is because the stills were dragged from vineyard to vineyard for distillation. The short column gave heavier spirits and a lower level of alcohol. Even today, only four houses distill their own wines, and everything else is done by six roving distillers. Distillation must be done from November to December.
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