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Pineau des Charentes

AOC area for one Vin de liqueur in the two départements Charente and Charente-Maritime in the southwest France, He is almost congruent with the area for the cognac, According to a legendary tradition, the invention was this liqueur An accident. A forgetful winemaker is said to have in 1589 a small barrel, which was still filled with a little cognac, with grape have filled up. When he realized that no surprise fermentation he put the keg in a cellar corner. After a few years, he wanted to empty the barrel and discovered to his surprise a clear, sweet-tasting liquid that gave him an excellent mouthfeel. Approved are the in short pruning educated varieties Ugni Blanc ( Trebbiano Toscano ) Colombard. Fool Blanche. Jurançon Blanc, Blanc Ramé ( Meslier Saint-François ) Merlot Blanc. Montils and Sémillon for the blanc, as well Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the rose. The grapes must have a potential alcohol content of at least 10% vol. The fermentation is stopped by the addition of cognac (mutage).

After that, the Blanc matures for at least 12 months and the rosé for at least eight months in the majority big oak barrel, A rosé is for the most part sweeter and more fruity than the usually much drier blanc. The "Vieux" (old) must have aged at least five years, the "Très Vieux" (very old) or "Extra Vieux" (extra old) at least ten years. In these two variants, the maturation in Barrels the quality is to be certified by a tasting commission. The alcohol content must be between 16 and 17% vol, the residual sugar content between 125 and 150 g / l. Older products can one Rancio- or Firnton respectively. The annual production quantities are more than 100,000 hectoliters, of which 55% Blanc and 45% Rosé. There are over 500 winegrowers and a few large cooperatives, which of course gives a very wide range of quality. Other French vin de liqueur products are Floc de Gascogne and Macvin du Jura,

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