Armagnac, Cognac, Whisky, what are the differences?
To the west, Bas Armagnac is distinguished by its light, poor, acidic, sandy-clay soils, known as “tawny sands”. It is called “Armagnac Noir” because its hills are covered with forests of small oaks. It gives a light and fruity brandy.
To the east, the Haut Armagnac is distinguished by its clay-limestone soils (gravel and peyrusquet) which are fresh and filtering. It is called “White Armagnac” because its limestone hills reflect the light. It gives a light eau de vie with a lively floral flavor.
In the center, the Ténarèze is distinguished by its clay-limestone soils (terrefort). It owes its name to the Iter Caesarum (“Caesar’s road”) ridge road that crosses it. Attributed to Julius Caesar, this trade and transhumant route allowed the connection between the Atlantic Ocean (Bordeaux) and the central Pyrenees while keeping the feet dry. It produces a rich and full-bodied eau de vie which reaches its maturity after prolonged aging.
The simple appellation “Armagnac” designates a blend of two or three of these subregions.