In 2010 we celebrate 700 years of the Distillation Arts in France.
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“Armagnac is the oldest wine based eau de vie in France. It is produced in the heart of Gascony, Southwestern France, by a single distillation of white wine in an Armagnac alembic (still) and then left to age for many years in oak barrels.”
While Armagnac might be France’s best kept secret to some, others know it as France’s true, original brandy, and believe it to be equal to or better than Cognac, its more famous brandy cousin to the North. As the Armagnac region prepares to celebrate the seven hundredth year of its birth, it is interesting to note that Armagnac was originally used for medicinal purposes according to the Christian monks who first recorded its use. It was in 1310 that Maitre Vital Dufour (a future French Cardinal) wrote in praise of the beneficial properties of “eau de feu,” (fire water) as Armagnac was originally known. According to Dufour, "This water, if taken medically and soberly is said to have 40 virtues... It enlivens the spirit, partaken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and retards senility..." Some of the many ailments this eau de vie was known to cure include: hepatitis, gout, ulcers, and open wounds.
Some Armagnacais still believe moderate consumption of Armagnac is the very reason people in that region live longer than anywhere else in France. Ironically, the region is also famous for producing and consuming large amounts of Foie Gras (over-stuffed goose liver) and Confit de Canard (duck cooked and preserved in its own fat). These facts no doubt contribute in part to the phenomenon known as “the French paradox.”
To help celebrate this very special septicentennial occasion, Heavenly Spirits, one of the leading importers and ambassadors for Armagnac in the United States is planning a series of tasting seminars across the country designed to educate consumers about this wonderful French spirit. Heavenly Spirits specializes not only in Armagnac, but in a variety of other exceptional French spirits, including: Cognac, Calvados, Absinthe and Rum.
EXPLORE ARMAGNAC WITH JEROME DELORD
Thursday, June 10, 6:30-8:30pm
Armagnac is currently experiencing a resurgence in the US, come to this seminar and find out why. Founded in 1893, Delord is the fastest growing brand in the US, and Jerome is the 4th generation of his family to pursue the passion. Jerome will discuss the history of the region while tasting through offerings such as Delord and Marie Duffau Napoleon, Delord XO, Marie Duffau Hors d'Age, Delord 25 year old and Marie Duffau Vintage. $10 W/Binny's Card / $15 non-members. Call (312)768-4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
An Evening of Armagnac
Tuesday, March 16, Meil Restaurant, Nashville, TN
Heavenly Spirits will be participating in "An Evening of Armagnac," where Christine will be presenting an informational tasting of five outstanding Armagnacs, Frances oldest and some would argue finest distilled spirit. This event will be hosted by the fabulous Meil Restaurant Bistro in collaboration with Horizon Wine & Spirits, our Tennessee distributor. Come help celebrate the 700th year of this wonderful French spirit. Reservations are required for this sit down event. For more information see http://www.mielrestaurant.com/
BNIA Official site
Click here to link to the official BNIA (French) public relations site of Armagnac
Click here to link to the official BNIA (English) site.