“Cognac is to brandy what Champagne is to sparkling wine,” Charlton said. By that, he means that Cognac must be made in the Cognac region of France, while brandy can be made anywhere in the world.
Other big producers of Cognac include Martell, Courvoisier, and Hennessy.
“The pyramid goes brandy, Cognac, then Cognac Fine Champagne,” he went on. “The word Champagne is used in the Cognac world because it comes from the latin ‘campania,’ which means rolling, chaly hills. The soil structure in the Champagne region is very similar to the Cognac region.”
He added that there are six growing regions within Cognac, with the “Premier Cru” (or best group of vineyards) sitauted right at the centre – Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne.
Rémy Martin only uses grapes from these two most central parts.
“Because we only focus on the two most central parts we’re allowed to call ourselves ‘Fine Champagne.’”