Cognac has become an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in 1936.
The whole vineyard destinated to the production of Cognac is established on a well-defined geographical area of production. The Cognac making process is subject to a very strict regulation, managed and controlled by the BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac), to preserve the reputation of Cognac.
The Cognac production area is located mainly in Charente, Charente-Maritime, and some villages in Dordogne and Deux-Sèvres. The Cognac appellation area is the second wine production region in France in terms of harvest, and the fourth in surface area with a potential of 685,399 hectares of agricultural land.
The eaux-de-vie are aged in oak barrels for several years, the blend of these different eaux-de-vie will make Cognac.
Cognac can be characterized by different categories:
- VS (Very Special) or 3 stars: the youngest eau-de-vie in the composition of Cognac has at least 2 years.
- VSOP (Very Special Old Pale): the youngest eau-de-vie in the composition of Cognac has at least 4 years.
- XO (Extra Old): the youngest eau-de-vie in the composition of Cognac has at least 6 years.