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08 Jun

Single Estate Spirits

By: Justine Teal Categories: Spirits

In the early 2000s, Francis Abécassis founded his brand and over the years has created several different labels under the Domaines Francis Abécassis name, all with the aim of making more affordable, exceptional aromatic expressions. Francis is a former wine producer in the South of France, who was unfortunately forced to sell all his vineyards. Instead of walking away from viticulture altogether, he decided to use his wine knowledge and business experience in a different way.

Francis wanted to develop his brands off something that is typically seen in wine production- single estate. The idea is that everything is handled 100% by the producer themselves, and Francis wanted his brands to be just as hands-on. He uses three main locations in the Cognac region, each equipped with their own separate distiller and Master Distiller across 370 hectares of land, making him one of the largest independent producers of Cognac today.

Francis and his daughter, Elodie, who is now the CEO of Domaines Francis Abécassis have put together a first class team where every members’ skills, attention, and love for the product are essential to the creation of refined Cognacs and spirits. Each in their areas of expertise is highly respected and every step in the production is carried out independently in order to adapt the production methods of these Cognacs to their specific terroirs. Among this team, is the Grands Domaines and Cognac Leyrat master distiller, Isabelle Couprie, who joined the team in 2018 and is one of the very few females in the Cognac world, especially with the title of Maître de Chai (Cellar Master).

Sustainable vineyard management and respect for the terroir are the foundations upon which the enterprise was built. Grands Domaines devotes particular attention to the vines in order to obtain healthy and balanced grapes. Sustainable growing methods are used in order to best respect the environment and the vineyard. They also pride themselves on their manual process- from the vineyard to the distillation, no part of the process is automated, and time and care need to be taken by the master distiller to enhance the characteristics of the terroir. Only the master distiller is able to decide when the Cognac can be moved from the younger barrels, which allow it to acquire colour and personality, to the slightly older barrels (5-10 years), which give it more aromatic complexity, to finally the much older barrels, which gradually give suppleness and roundness. As only the master distiller can decide when the Cognac moves from one barrel to the next, it guarantees its harmonious evolution dedicated to the creation of a great Cognac.

Grands Domaines is the final blend created by Isabelle, with the aim of combining the delicacy of a winegrowers’ Cognac, with the fruity expression of the vineyard and the wine. With this contemporary and easily recognizable range, the Grands Domaines team wanted to make the traditions and the savoir-faire of the Cognac world a wonderful discovery that is open to everyone. The gin and vodka Grands Domaines are made from local soft winter wheat, grown on Francis’ farm in the Camargue. This wheat too is farmed organic and sustainably and embody the philosophy of ‘single estate harvest.’

The Range

Grand Domaines Bio Organic Gin

The colour is slightly yellow issued from the maceration of juniper berries. An elegant nose, characterized by a subtle and delicate presence of notes, brought to the gin through its eaux de vie. Brings a lot of softness to the mouth.

Grand Domaines Bio Organic Vodka

Crystalline clean in colour. Its delicacy and freshness emphasize its origin with notes of wheat grain combined with a touch of peppery lemon scent. After a delicate and smooth approach on the mouth, its roundness combined with its contained strength unveils its purity and origin. Spicy, subdued notes of citrus fruit peel and flower prolongate this tasting.

Grands Domaines Cognac VS

Gold colour with amber highlights. A very floral nose with hints of almonds and pears. In the mouth, the taste is elegant and fine.


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