In November, as soon as the fermentation is over - i.e. the process of transforming the grape juice into wine without any sulphur dioxide and sugar addition - distillation is carried out.
The precious expertise of the distiller will determine the quality of Armagnac. His Armagnac still is made of pure copper and dates back to the period of the Arab invasions and was subsequently developed by our scientists during the Age of Enlightenment. Between the flowing up and down of vapours and the warming and condensation of ethers, alchemy operates.
Only two methods are used and allowed for Armagnac production :
The double-distillation: this is the method used for the distillation of Cognac. It allows few non-alcoholic compounds, resulting in a softer eau- de-vie which will be drunk younger. Nevertheless many of the aromas are burnt. Only wines from limestone soils should be distilled by this method;
The single distillation: most of the production of Armagnac is distilled in this way. It retains a higher proportion of flavouring elements in the distilled spirit, thus producing a brandy with more flavours, aroma and character than cognac. Patience and the quality of ageing differentiate this method from double-distillation which breaks molecules in a more violent way.