December 2, 2021 Brard-Blanchard The Brard Blanchard family have been farming in the Charente for generations and like many other Cognac producers, they have gradually given up polyculture to concentrate on grape growing and wine and spirits production. Presently, Sophie Brard Blanchard is at the helm of the family’s 20 hectares of vineyards and 7 hectares of grains. She produces red and white wines, red and white Pineau des Charentes and a range of Cognacs. Sophie’s father turned to organic farming in 1972 after having some health issues related to the chemicals he was employing in the vineyard. The domaine is one of a small number in Cognac to be certified organic. Pineau des Charentes is a wine-based liquor referred to in French as a “vin de liqueur”. After the grapes have been manually harvested and pressed, What Sophie calls an Eau-de-Vie de Cognac at a strength of 70% alc. is added to the unfermented juice to block the natural fermentation. In the service of finding balance in her Pineau, Sophie’s methods go well beyond the appellation requirements. No SO2 is used throughout the entire process.