How cognac is made

Vine and grape harvesting

The «Ugni-Blanc» is the main grape selected to make the eau-de-vie destined to be turned into cognac. The harvests start as soon as the grape reaches maturity, generally from the beginning of October for Seguinot cognacs.


Immediately after harvesting, the grapes go into the wine-press. The juice obtained is fermented immediately. At Seguinot this step is carried out with the utmost of care. It has a determining influence on the end quality of our cognacs. Distillation begins after several days of fermentation. It will finish at the end of the following March. To do this we use a still from the Charente department of France. Like all our distillation methods it has not changed since Seguinot was founded.


During its slow ageing in barrels in our cellars, the cognac is in contact with the air which surrounds it. It absorbs the aromas of the wood, which gives it its colour and bouquet. The resulting relationship between the air, the wood and the cognac is a fascinating phenomenon. Part of the alcohol slowly evaporates. Annually this represents the equivalent of 20 million bottles. From ancient times this reaction has been poetically called “the angel’s share”. These vapours produce a fungus on the walls of our cellars and buildings which turns them a characteristic black.


The cellar master is the conductor in the making of cognac. His great experience, his rigour and his intuition allow him to assemble subtle eaux-de-vie of different ages and vintages. From a multitude of possible combinations he can find a unique cognac capable of seducing scores of enthusiasts.

Age indicators

Once the cognac is in the bottle it continues to age.
Precise terms define the cognacs according to how they are blended and aged.
VS (Very Special) cognacs are at least two years old, VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) and Reserve at least four years old and Napoleon XO (Extra Old)
and Ageless at least six years old.
Seguinot uses much better age indicators when it produces its blends than the standard ones imposed.
Our greatest cognacs are made with eaux-de-vie aged over several decades.