The various “crus” in the Cognac GI

Since it is a Geographical Indication (GI), Cognac can only be produced within a delimited geographical area, defined by the French decree of 1 May 1909. The “Cognac”, “Eau-de-vie de Cognac”, and “Eau-de-vie des Charentes” appellations are exclusively restricted to wine spirits grown and distilled within the defined regions of Charente-Maritime and Charente, as well as several villages in the Dordogne and Deux-Sèvres departments.

 

Keys figures

  • Vineyard stretching out over 78,000 hectares
  • 1 white wine region in France
  • 10% of the total French vineyard area
  • 19 hectares, average area under vine of each wine estate

 

Crus of the Cognac GI

Grande Champagne

-GEOLOGY

Home to the most famous Cognacs, particularly well-suited to aging in barrel.

 

-CHARACTERISTICS

Pride

Finesse

Distinction

Montant

Length

Flexibility…

 

-AROMAS

Floral dominance,

vine flower,

dried lime tree,

dry vine shoots…

 

Petite Champagne

-GEOLOGY

Features the same soil type as in Grande Champagne. However, the influence of the oceanic climate is greater here.

 

-CARACTÉRISTIQUES

Pride

Distinction

Suppleness

Lightness

 

-AROMAS

Floral (vine flower) and fruity

 

Borderies

-GEOLOGY

The soil is decalcified on the surface. Produces very aromatic Cognacs that age more quickly than those from the Champagnes.

 

-CHARACTERISTICS

Finesse

Lightness

Length

 

-AROMAS

Floral dominance

Violette

Iris

 

Fins Bois

-GEOLOGY

In the north, the soil consists of “groies”, or thin clay-limestone (from the Jurassic period). In the south, the soil dates back to the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. Cognacs produced here are less well-structured and age faster than those in the Champagnes.

 

-CHARACTERISTICS

High odor intensity. Roundness, smoothness.

 

-AROMAS

Dominantly fruity (pressed grapes), slight floral scent (vine flower).

 

Bons Bois

-GEOLOGY

A more heterogeneous appellation with formations dating back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The climate is oceanic in the west and continental in the east. A wide variety of Cognacs are grown here.

 

-CHARACTERISTICS

Appearance of “terroir” taste

 

-AROMAS

Fruity (pressed grapes)

 

Bois Ordinaires ou Bois à Terroirs

-GEOLOGY

This appellation covers the coast and two neighboring islands, resulting in Cognacs strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean.

 

-CHARACTERISTICS

Characteristic “terroir” taste. (Influence of the Atlantic)

 

-AROMAS

Fruity

 

Henri Coquand: the first man to map out the different “crus”

Henri Coquand (1813-1881), a geology professor, studied the Cognac region’s soil and terroir in the 19th century and, with the help of a knowledgeable taster, classified the various soils according to the type of eau-de-vie they produced. This led to the definition of various Cognac producing areas in around 1860 and served as the basis for the decree of 13 January 1938, setting the boundaries of these areas.

 

Learn more about the growing areas in this map.

Source : BNIC | cognac.fr

 

Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.