miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2012

Château de Montifaud (Cognac)


The Château Montifaud has belonged to the Vallet family for six generations now.

The vineyard was created in 1837 by Augustin and has seen the succession of Pierre, Maurice, Louis and Michel. Laurent came to join his father and grandfather in October 2000.

According to the family tradition, when a son joins his father, a part of the cognac distilled in that year is set preciously aside and will only be sold by the future generations. Today, in the darkness of the“Paradise” cellar lie bottles of Cognac skilfully made by Pierre and Maurice Vallet.

Their family cellars have also seen the ageing of cognacs that date from 1920 to the persent day, part of which, in vintage years, has been sealed by the B.N.I.C (the National Interprofessional Office of Cognac).


The vineyard stretches over 90 hectares in the two premier regions of cognac area: In the “Grande” and “Petite Champagne” whose soil contains a very great amount of active limestone. This chalky content plays a dominating role in quality of the Eaux de Vie (spirits, cognacs).

Thanks to this exceptional land, Château Montifaud possesses an extremely high potential for quality.

During each of the different phases of making the cognacs (producing, distilling, ageing), Château Montifaud apply the traditional craftsmanship and skill handed down from father to son.

These allow Château Montifaud to enhance the natural qualities of the Eaux de Vie: the floral touches, the delicacy and elegance to the nose, the roundness, the suppleness and the long-lasting taste in the mouth.

In order to bring out the traits of the cognacs, Château Montifaud propose the “Grande Champagne” and the “Petite Champagne” separately, each with its own qualities.

As well, Château Montifaud propose in vintage years, the showcase of their expertise.


To obtain a floral “eau-de-vie” (wine spirit) which truly represents the “Grande” and “Petite Champagne” vintages, harvesting a healthy grape crop is extremely important.

The grape varieties of “colombard” and “folle blanche” are harvested first and then followed by the “ugni-blanc”. The grapes are crushed upon their arrival at the production cellar in order to avoid any sort of oxidation.

In 2004, they installed three pneumatic presses of 50 hectolitres each to improve the pressing. A 50 hectolitre capacity was prefered over 80Hl or 100Hl with the aim of reducing the filling time and, thus, oxidation.

Thanks to an efficient cooling system with which stainless steel tanks are equipped, the fermentation temperatures never go over 24° - 25° so as to privilege the floral qualities provided by our land of the “Grande et Petite Champagne”.

Their wines are stored with their sediment for better keeping, particularly to prevent oxidation. No anti-oxidizing agent is ever added to our wine, the high level of acidity alone allows a good keeping of the wine up to distillation.


After analysis, they begin distilling their wines as soon as they reach their malolactic fermentation stage, generally at the beginning of November and to be finished at the end of January-beginning of February.

The manual operations of their two stills are under the responsibility of one person well trained. At the time of each important step of distilling, it is Michel or Laurent themselves who carry out this operation.

Their wines are distilled with their sediment in order to concentrate the flavours and to accentuate the roundness and suppleness of thier “eaux-de-vie” "wine spirits”.

The presence of sediment in thier wines implies a slower distillation at low heat which results in more suppleness; this is followed by a very thorough cleaning of thir boilers after each distillation.


When ageing their eaux-de-vie, family tradition favours the floral and fruity character of thir cognacs. For this, they always apply the following rule: avoid any excessive time spent in new barrels. Their casks of 350 litres are made of Limousin oak. Along with thir barrel-maker, they select the wood to be used. This wood is stocked for 3 years. At the time of making their barrels, according to their wishes, the barrel-maker endeavours to obtain an “average” distillation always with the objective of protecting the natural qualities of their eaux-de vie.

When filling the casks after distillation, part of their cognacs are selected for the qualities of VS, VSOP, Napoleon, XO and Heritage. Others are for vintage years; in this case, a representative from the National Interprofessionnal Office of Cognac comes to seal the casks just after distillation.

In their stocks, they possess some very old eaux-de-vie. Among them, a few have dropped to around 42-46% naturally. They are stocked in 30 l. bottles. When ageing, their Grande et Petite Champagne cognacs are stocked separately in order to offer two individual qualities of these two premier regions to our customers.


The work in the cellars is handled uniquely by Michel and Laurent. It is their express wish that this job is done by no other person.

The blending of their cognacs is made of different years. Nevertheless, they do not blend Grande Champagne spirits with petite Champagne. In this domain as well, family tradition is preserved.

Each region has its own qualities. The Château Montifaud vineyard is happily situated within both of these two premier regions. They have no desire to standardise their different qualities, on the contrary, they wish to personalise them.

The vintage years are equally interesting in their diversity thanks to the year but also to the method of stocking. Thus, certain vintage years are aged in “Tronçais” type oak in order to obtain a particular characteristic and, therefore, the different qualities of our blended cognacs.


The bottling is done at the Château in total respect of the quality and traceability standards in accordance to the legal requirements of each country where their cognacs are imported.

Their old cognacs are presented in luxurious packaging (crystal carafes, hand-blown glass bottles). These require special care throughout all manual operations.

For the classic qualities, a full group of bottles passes through the stages of rinsing, filling, corking, capsuling, labelling, labelling of the back of the bottles and visually checking the transparency and purity.

For the vintage years, the bottling is carried out in the presence of an official representative of the National Interprofessional Office of Cognac.

Stocking: all bottles of cognac and pineau must be stored upright.

Château de Montifaud
17520 Jarnac-Champagne (France)
Tel: +33 (0) 5 46 49 50 77
Fax: +33 (0) 5 46 49 54 87
Web: www.chateau-montifaud.com

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