Our micro distillation
After being pressed, our Ugni Blanc grape juice naturally ferments for seven days, the fruit sugars transforming it into a sumptuous wine ready for distillation. This clear wine is fruity, dry, slightly acidic and about 9% by volume. For unequalled precision over the quality of our young spirits, we insist on a process of micro distillation, where our wine growers ferment their own grape juice in batches before we select the very best to go forward for distillation. This special relationship with these wine growing families, often nurtured over five generations, ensures the continuous unrivaled standards of our cognacs.
Our traditional pot stills
Unlike many of our competitors, we insist on only using traditional 25 hectolitre Alembic Charentais copper pot stills. Their small size allows us greater control over the distillation process, by increasing the wine's surface contact with the copper, heightening the richness of the spirit..
Our distillers must expertly and precisely separate the double distilled spirit into the heads (which are too high in alcohol), the heart (the best part of the distillation) and the tails (which lack harmony). The passion and patience is rewarded with a clear and pure eaux-de-vie - literally 'water of life' - only ever taken from the heart. This eaux-de-vie is also called the 'bonne chauffe', or good heat, and is now ready for ageing at 70% ABV.
Distilling on the lees
The cooperage is where our coopers painstakingly handcraft the casks to our own exacting specifications to ensure they're in the best possible condition to house our eaux-de-vie throughout their long ageing journey. Our coopers transform about 5,000 oak trees a year into casks for our Courvoisier cognac.
Our wine goes through an intense double distillation process to ensure we capture its aromatic soul. We are one of the few cognac houses to distil using the 'lees', the wine's yeast residue, a remarkably difficult process that imparts even greater depth, complexity and dried fruit notes to our cognac. From the beginning of November, we distil our wine 24 hours a day until the 31st March, the legal deadline for our spirit to be called a cognac.