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Brandy

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Like many spirits, the origins of brandy are rumoured to lie with Dutch merchants. When visiting salt producers of south-west France , they would also buy local wines which they would distil to both preserve and reduce the volume, saving space in the ship's hold. Brandy is most often thought of as grape-based but can be from any fruit. From the Alsace to the Carpathians and beyond, fruits such as pear, apricot, raspberry and plum are all bases for brandy. Of the three main brandies of France, two are grape based (Cognac and Armagnac) and the third, Calvados, is made in Normandy from apples and pears. Grape growing regions around the world also make brandy such as California and South Africa. Traditionally, pomace brandies were made following the main grape harvest from the residual grape skins and stems. The most famous of these are Italian Grappa and French Marc.
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