Brandy was originally called ‘brandywine’ or distilled wine. Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine or ‘marc’ the residue of the wine press. The most noted brandy comes from cognac and is made from white grapes in the Charente district of France. Other districts of France are noted for their fine brandy notably Armagnac.
The spirit is aged in oak barrels and so takes on colour from the wood. Aging depends on the style and class of the product. After a period of aging in oak the mature brandy is mixed with distilled water to reduce the alcohol concentration and then bottled.