Cognac is a grape spirit that comes from a limited area in south western France. Other grape spirits in the world are called brandy.
The grapes for cognac come from six districts around the city of Cognac in Charante, Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Bois Ordinaires. Almost all cognac is made of the Ugni Blanc grape even if Folle Blanc and Colombard are permitted. Cognac is distilled twice and it is the second distillation, eau de vie, that is used and aged in French oak barrels. Cognac is classified according to how long it is aged, which is almost always far longer than stipulated by law. Cognac is not a vintage product and the year may not be placed on the bottles as it is counter to the whole idea of cognac.