The commune of Cognac, France gives its name to the famous brandy which is produced using grapes grown in the surrounding region. The predominant variety used is Ugni Blanc and to produce Cognac it must be distilled twice in copper stills and then aged in oak barrels for at least two years. The finest Cognacs, those aged for the longest — VSOP and XO are the classificatory terms — are noted for their warmth and complexity, with wonderful dried-fruit notes reminiscent of Christmas cake.

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