Although the famous French brandy is older than Cognac by several centuries, it is somewhat overshadowed by its "big brother". Its home is Gascony, a hilly landscape in the centre of south-western France. It includes the department of Gers as well as parts of Landes and Lot-et-Garonne. The Gascon people learned the art of distillation from the Moors as early as the 12th century. The first written record of Armagnac (aqua ardens = burning water) dates back to 1411, and a document from 1461 reports that "the distilled spirit of the wine soothes pain, keeps the memory fresh and the people young, and brings joy and well-being". In 1909, the designation of origin "Armagnac" was decreed for the first time. The BNIA (Bureau National Interprofessionel de l'Armagnac) monitors the strict regulations. If the test is passed, the golden-yellow seal is awarded.
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