AOC area for a Vin de liqueur in the two départements Charente and Charente-Maritime in the southwest of France. It is almost identical to the area for the Cognac. According to a legendary tradition, the invention of this liqueur was a coincidence. In 1589, a winegrower is said to have filled a small barrel, which was still filled with some cognac, with grape must. When he was surprised to find that no fermentation began, he placed the barrel in a cellar corner. After a few years he wanted to empty the barrel and to his surprise he discovered a clear, sweet tasting liquid that tasted excellent to him. The varieties Ugni Blanc(Trebbiano Toscano), Colombard, Folle Blanche, Jurançon Blanc, Blanc Ramé(Meslier Saint-François), Merlot Blanc, Montils and Sémillon for the Blanc, and Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the Rosé are permitted. The grapes must have a potential alcohol content of at least 10% vol. Fermentation is stopped by adding cognac (mutage).
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