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36447Re: Cognac Grapes...

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  • burrows206
    Aug 1, 2009
      Hi Wal,
      Sorry Wal I live in the Sarlat area in the south/west area of France and a little further west toward Bergerac and Bordeaux the countryside is full of square mile after square mile of vineyards (or should that be square Kilometre) all with the own individual licensed vineyard names.
      Maybe not used at the moment, as a lot sell to a central grape collection area and their grapes get swallowed up under the big wine conglomerates.
      But they all jealously guard and keep up to date their own government register wine making licence even though they sell to a central winery. Some of these small vineyards are only a couple of acres and most farms keep a private vineyard for their own personal use over and above the grapes they sell
      If they were ever to sell their property that licence could be resurrected and the new owner could sell his own local wine and if really good to a global internet market.
      Geoff


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
      >
      > North France is not the best region to ripen grapes fully! Le terroir est terrible?
      > wal
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "burrows206" <jeffrey.burrows@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Dana,
      > > I think you might well be right in that the grapes are harvested early to get that right sweetness and acidity, because those guys and their ancestors have been doing this a long time and know from hundreds of years experience what makes a good quality and saleable Cognac.
      > > You and most of us here know that a sweeter grape will make a higher % Abv in the fermented wine but it won't necessarily make a better brandy.
      > > It's like eating young cow 'veal' or adult cow `beef' both are the same beast but producing very different end flavours and textures in your eating experience.
      > > I think the Cognac vineyard owner /manager must be constantly monitoring the exact taste in sweetness and acidity in the grape to get it perfectly right.
      > > To you or me the grape would seem wrong to taste but they know what makes their end Cognac product the envy of the world. They also know that with the right grape they can command the top prices they do. The knowledge that you/we are guessing at, they already know and know how to a turn around a bad situation coming up long before it does and that long experience handed down from generation to generation will let them come out with at least a saleable product whereas we in a similar situation would be up the creek without the paddle
      > > Now if you look at the great Scottish whiskeys'. It's no mistake they use top notch ingredients down to the very spring water and ferment out to the lower Abv percentage as this will make a superior end product and therefore command top bracket prices. These Jocks (Scottish) are "canny" when liberating you from your cash the really smart Jocks will even leave you thinking they have done you a favour. I think done is the operative word in this case. Was it Zymurgy Bob who said if you put garbage in you get garbage out.
      > > If you put the right experience type and quality of grapes in, and you get the perfect Cognac out
      > > I'm just giving you my best-est guess-tum-ation as to how I see it
      > > Geoff
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Greetings all,
      > > >
      > > > In the Cognac region of France some the primary grapes used are Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and more formerly, Folle Blanche. From what I've read, the Ugni Blanc is harvested at a lower Brix so that a return of 8-10% alcohol is expected post-fermentation.
      > > >
      > > > Not having worked with Ugni Blanc, as it is not grown in our appellation, I was wondering if someone out there knew why it is picked at the lower Brix levels. Is it picked before complete ripening purposely to limit the amount of alcohol in the mash, towards the hope of gaining a better flavor and aroma? 22-24 degrees Brix is what many winemakers hope for in order to get 11-12% alcohol in their wines. In California of late, the trend towards longer hanging grapes, higer sugars and consequently higher alcohols than what were previously considered standard.
      > > >
      > > > Or, like many of the Native American grape varieties, and table grape varieties, does the Ugni Blanc only get to into the mid to upper teens in Brix at full ripeness?
      > > >
      > > > If the grapes are harvested before complete ripeness, the naturally occuring acidity would be higher, which can be desireable, the sugars lower, thus lower alcohol in teh fermentation, but in my experience, the grapes could also have diminished flavors as well. We pick by a number of criteria, Brix, acidity pH and flavor, all hopefully in balance. Lower flavors could be problem if the grapes are harvested prior to fully ripening.
      > > >
      > > > Whatever the French are doing...I think they are on the right track, as I just saw a bottle of Louis XIII Cognac in our liquor store for something like $1200.00 Also I accepting contributions towards the purchase of said Cognac--my favorite charity. Contact me via e-mail for details. :)
      > > >
      > > > Any light on the subject would be interesting.
      > > >
      > > > Thanks,
      > > >
      > > > Dana
      > > >
      > >
      >
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