The Distillery

True to an artisan cognac house, François Méry and his Father distill the “eau de vie” that will become Cognac Méry Melrose.  These dedicated artisans, use traditional methods perfected over generations.  The Méry family are « brouilleurs du cru », they distill their own wines, using a small copper still which has a capacity of just 25 hl, which produces a concentration of aromas. The distillation is a seasonal activity in Cognac, running from the end of the wine fermentation, after the autumn harvest, until the 31st March the following year.  François, with the support of his Father, honours his heritage and delivers consistently aromatic, clear, fruity eau-de-vie which he then matures and blends in the family-cellars.

 

 

Here are three generations of the Méry family in the distillery, making cognac…  

The process starts by harvesting and pressing our organically grown Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Folle Blanche grapes and fermenting them into a tart, fruity, low-alcohol wine using only indigenous yeast. 

Next stage is the distillation of the wine on the family’s custom-made direct-fire Charentais pot still.

As is traditional in Grande Champagne, the distillation includes the lees — the cloudy, flavorful residue left behind by fermentation — in the still along with the wine, which gives the eau de vie a richer mouth feel and deeper flavor as well as the potential to age for a very long time.

The wine needs to be distilled twice to make eau de vie.  During both distillations, only the heart of the run is collected, and the first and last parts are recycled — called the heads and the tails—into the next batch.  It is the cellar master who decides where to cut the heads, heart, and tails by using a combination of smell, taste, measurement, experience, and intuition, allowing the possibility to respond to changes in the character of each wine and each vintage.