The Family History
The Frapin family have been based in SW France since the late 13th century, and have a history of distillation in the Cognac region for 20 generations. Located in the heart of the Grande Champagne region in Segonzac, they own all of their vineyards.
Cognac Frapin has an illustrious history. Still in original family ownership, the company’s head Jean-
Frapin is unique and differs greatly from the region’s other significant producers. Their Cognacs are made entirely on the family’s single estate which includes 240 hectares of vines surrounding the Château de Fontpinot with its distillery and ageing warehouses over two levels. The whole property lies in the Grande Champagne area which is regarded as Cognac’s best appellation and is highly prized for both the quality and intensity of its spirits and their longevity. The extended ageing that all Frapin’s Cognacs receive sets them apart from their competitors and contributes to the House’s rich, complex and smooth style.
The Cognac region is located in South Western France north of Bordeaux bordering the Atlantic Ocean in the west and stretching inland towards Angoulème. The climate is mild with a marked maritime influence. The main grape is Ugni Blanc and the majority of region’s wine production is distilled to make Cognac.
The Cognac appellation was first defined in 1909 however the region’s history dates back to the 13th century when spirits distilled from wine were already popular and exported around Europe. The appellation is divided into six sub regions based on work done by the geologist Henri Coquand in 1860. The six regions are Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires. The geology in each of these six regions differs and has a marked impact on the style and quality of the resulting cognacs.
Vineyards and Winemaking
Cognac Frapin’s domaine , the largest single domaine in the region, is located entirely within the Grande Champagne appellation, their whole production comes entirely from the domaine.
This area has thin clay chalk soils lying over soft Cretaceous Chalk and a high percentage of limestone. The wines grown here produce fine floral cognacs that are capable of long ageing.
The domaine has 240 hectares of vines planted with Ugni Blanc. The vineyards are managed sustainably and the vines cultivated traditionally with respect for the natural balance of the soil and vines. Vine cuttings and distillation residues are returned to the soil and when vines are re-
The grapes are all harvested by machines and the whole bunches are pressed. The unfiltered grape juice undergoes a natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks and becomes Vin de Charente.
The Vin de Charente produced by Patrice Piveteau will be distilled and eventually transformed into Cognac by Frapin’s master distillers Gilles Lardant and Alex Cosson. Cognac is distilled twice and at Frapin this takes place on lees in six Charentais red copper stills. The first distillation results in an unclear alcohol of around 28°. This alcohol is distilled for a second time and it is the heart of the distillation that is captured to produce fine eaux de vies that will be be matured in one of Frapin’s Chais.
Frapin Cognacs are matured in Limousin oak casks on the domaine. Cellar Master Patrice Piveteau is responsible for the Cognacs as they age and chooses the location of each cask based in the atmospheric conditions in different parts of their warehouses. At Frapin there are two floors; the ground floor which has greater humidity and the attics which are drier; these two factors have a clear impact on the character of the final Cognac.
At Frapin recently distilled eaux de vies are matured in new casks for the first quarter of their maturation period after which they are transferred to older ones. Frapin’s rich colour comes only from contact with the wooden cask.
The final task is for Patrice to select and blend each expression of Frapin and to maintain a consistent style and quality.
Cognacs Frapin are made entirely on the family’s single estate which includes 240 hectares of vines surrounding the Château de Fontpinot.
The whole property lies in the Grande Champagne area which is regarded as Cognac’s best appellation. This X.O. Cognac is the fruit of long ageing, mostly in dry cellars which gives it a subtle, complex and refined bouquet.
Region: Jarnac -
Appellation: Cognac Grande Champagne Controlle:
Appellation: Premier Cru de Cognac
Bottling: Distillery Bottling
Grape varieties: Ungi Blanc (Trebbiano)
Status: Sustainable Environmental Management
Age: at least 7 years
Cask Type: 100% French Oak Cask
Flavour Profile: Fruity -
Allergens: Not Known
Bottle size: 70cl abv: 41.0% abv