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Brandy from the French departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. Tracing its origin to the 17th century, cognac (named for the town of Cognac) is distilled from white wine in special pot stills (alembics) and aged in Limousin oak. Most cognacs spend from one and one-half to five years in wood, though rarer varieties may age much longer.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cognac, visit Britannica.com.