A FAMILY ESTATE
The story started at the beginning of last century at Perquie, in the Landes region, on the vineyard owned by Jacques and Claude Lartigue’s great-grand-mother. With these vines entirely planted in the Baco grape variety, wine was made to be sold to the co-op and it sometimes happened that a few casks of armagnac were born, depending on the years.
In 1985, their father Fernand expressed his wish to have those Baco vines pulled up ; that is when Jacques and his brother Claude decided to buy those 4 acre plots in order to revive the production of armagnac. The vine-grower who lived next door was entrusted with the vineyard work, and thanks to his skills, a natural wine of outstanding quality was immediately produced.
The Domaine de Charron being on an exceptional terroir, everything possible was done to produce great quality armagnac. The skillfulness of the best distillers from Villeneuve-de-Marsan, the systematic storing in new oak casks of every crop, together with a carefully chosen wine storehouse enabled us to reach our goal — offer our customers a top-quality product.
THE PERFECT MATCH
The vineyards of Domaine de Charron prosper on the fawn sands ("sables fauves") of Bas Armagnac, whose origins date back to the end of the Tertiary, when the sea retreated. This siliceous clay coloured by iron oxide makes the personality and is the pride of Bas Armagnac.
A cross-breeding of Folle Blanche and Noah, the Baco variety appears in the AOC Armagnac exclusively. Its increased resistance to diseases makes it an environment-friendly grape, and everybody agrees on the fact that its main quality is its ability to do wonders when exchanging with oakwood along the years of the ageing process in the oak barrels.
The fawn sands being the prefered soil of the Baco, we consider that only a single grape variety Bas Armagnac enables to bring out this unique and perfect match.
Our oak barrels (420 litre kegs) are made by one of the last coopers in the area, Gilles Bartholomo, in Le Frêche (Landes). Our barrels are filled as soon as the brandy comes out of the still.
In our earth-floored wine storehouse, a long process of exchanges of aromatic components then starts between the oak and the brandy. Year after year, each vintage is handled, ventilated and moved following the prescriptions of the Cellar Master.
The age and alcoholic degree of the precious elixir will be stopped as orders come in, when the Armagnac is bottled at the storehouse, after ageaing at least ten years.
From 1985 until last year, the distillation was made by a travelling distiller who came to the estate, since 2012 the Domaine de Charron has had its own still dating from 1940.
The distillation process usually takes place before the end of the year of the harvest, in a traditional and locally-made wood fired copper continuous still. Along the few uninterrupted days of the process, the experienced hand of the distiller feels the machine numerous times in order to test its « heats ». His expertise is essential to produce the most flavourful brandy.
Our brandy has an alcoholic degree that is between 52° and 53° when is comes out of the still, and is ready to offer, year after year, its Angels’ Share.
The Baco grapes planted on the fawn sands of the estate benefit from ideal exposure to the sun on hillsides that are oriented south south-west. The youngest vines are 35 years old, the oldest are over 60. Their longevity is evidence of the care they are treated with.
Permanent ground cover is maintained, in order to preserve the microbiological life of the soil, and the 2 hectare surface enables us to devote special attention to our vine stock.
The wine-making process is made naturally, without the addition of oenological products, for us to obtain a high acid and low alcohol wine, perfectly adapted for distillation.