The Pasquet family’s small 7.5-hectare-vineyard is nestled in the tiny township of Éraville, in prestigious Grande Champagne, and the property has been producing Cognac since 1730. The family operation was passed on to Jean-Luc by his uncle Albert, who left Jean-Luc with eaux-de-vie dating back to the late 1800s. Their broad lineup ranges from terrific ‘starter’ Cognacs to the rarest of the rare ultra-old blends, not to mention utterly delicious apéritifs such as a classic and raspberry-macerated iteration of Pineau des Charentes.
“In 1995, we began cultivating our seven-hectare vineyard according to the principles of organic agriculture, meaning that no synthetic chemicals are used. Our philosophy pushes us to reinforce the vine’s natural defenses with copper and sulfur-based products as well as natural nettle foliage sprays. Plowing between the rows of vines enables us to keep the grass and weeds down.
“The majority of our grapevines produce the Ugni Blanc grape, but several years ago, we planted Folle Blanche vines, which were the varietal used before the Phylloxera crises of the 19th century. Although difficult to grow, this varietal gives us incomparably smooth and rich eaux-de-vie. Our before-dinner-or-dessert drinks, the Pineau des Charentes and Marie-Framboise, are crafted using a blend of Ugni Blanc and Montils grapes.
“After harvest, the grapes are immediately pressed and their juice is transferred to fermentation tanks. The fermentation process is carried out by our own “indigenous” yeast found naturally on the grapes themselves. We provide an additional guarantee of tasting the Charente “terroir” in your glass by using only natural yeast and not adding sulfites.
“Harmoniously coupled with oak barrels, the eau-de-vie matures with time, in hidden and silent transformation to become “Liqueur of the gods”, existing solely for your pleasure.
“When the wines are finished fermenting, one of the most important processes in crafting quality cognac begins: distillation. We distill our own wines in a traditional Charente pot still by the double-distillation method, which is unique to the cognac region. Thanks to this technique, we obtain smooth and aromatic eaux-de-vie. Born during the “Bonne Chauffe” or second heating, the eau-de-vie becomes sublime Cognac.
“After distillation, the Cognac is aged in barrels. These casks are crafted exclusively from oak grown in the Limousin region of France. Before being bottled, Cognac is housed within their staves anywhere from three years up to several decades according to the style of Cognac we are looking to create. The eau-de-vie blended with oak over time graces our Cognacs with finesse and elegance.
“Each step in the process is crucial in determining the quality of the Cognac put into our bottles. We select and blend different vintages of eaux-de-vie in order to achieve a balanced, rich and aromatic Cognac. We bottle our Cognacs and other beverages exclusively on-site.”