An eau-de-vie possesses a special memory, carrying an infallible record of the entire life of the grape, from beginning to end.
In the vineyards of Cognac, the grapes are harvested when they reach aromatic maturity - when they embody the very nature of the soil from which they have grown - rather than at physiological maturity, the moment at which the balance between the acidity and degree of alcohol of the wine is best.
When the grapes are pressed, the pips must be removed at once, in order to avoid any unwanted taste of tannin in the future cognac. A traditional press is used.
The juice is then left to ferment naturally for one to two weeks. A low initial alcohol content is considered an advantage, as the aroma of the cognac will be richer.
The wine obtained is very fragile. No additive may be used and the wine will be distilled as soon as possible during the winter following the harvest, that is to say, between November and the end of March.