Chateau de Montifaud
PRODUCT: Chateau de Montifaud Pineau des Charentes
Pineau des Charentes is the result of stopping the grape juice fermentation within hours of the pressing by blending it with cognac that is at least one year old — a process that originally occurred by mistake in 1589. Today, Pineau des Charentes production is strictly controlled to ensure high quality, and it must be made by pineau producers in the Cognac region using extremely ripe grapes. White pineau can be made with ugni blanc, colombard, folle blanche, montils, semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes, among others. Château de Montifaud, however, uses only ugni blanc (20%) and colombard (80%). The ugni blanc grape gives the finesse and elegance and a little bit of acidity, while colombard provides the rich aroma.
Most of the cognac available in the United States comes from negociants, which are companies that either buy grapes from growers and contract to have it distilled, or buy distillate to age and blend. Of the approximately 4,600 grape growers in the Cognac region, only around a dozen produce and export their own cognac. The name Château de Montifaud is historically linked to the land where the distillery sits. A castle used to be located there, which is why the word “château” is permitted to be used, a rarity in Cognac. Documents show that the Vallet family has been making cognac here since 1837, though the family believes production started even earlier. Sixth generation Laurent Vallet currently runs the business, taking over from his father Michel in 2010, though Michel still plays an active role in the business.
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