Maison Surrenne Cognacs, the fabulous Germain-Robin “Alambic” brandies, and piscos from PiscoLOGIA are based on grapes. They’re all distilled on a pot still like the one in the photograph, an alambic charantais (Armagnac, another famous grape brandy, uses a different kind of pot still).
Germain-Robin brandies are hand-distilled using high-quality varietal wine grapes from Northern California, where the rich loam and intense summer heat make for brandies with exceptional depth and finish.
The Cognac region is cool and rainy, so its grapes tend not to make great table wine; soil characteristics have a great deal to do with cognac quality. For that reason, Maison Surrenne does very little blending of their cognacs, preserving the rich variation between the regional soils.
Pierre de Segonzac family-owned since 1702. One of the last estate cognacs: hand-distilled from grapes grown in the distillery’s small vineyard near Segonzac, home to some of Cognac’s finest grapes. The estate, La Nérolle, and the vineyard are in the heart of Cognac’s finest grand champagne soils.
PiscoLOGIA is the best of several little-known treasures from Peru. Pisco is a grape brandy tightly regulated to enforce ancestral methods.