Patrice Piveteau is Frapin’s cellar master. For him, oak perfectly embodies the cognac.
When we speak of cognac, we cannot help thinking of oak, the wood used to make our barrels. Oak nourishes cognac with its tannins and vanillin, and its porosity promotes an exchange of gases. In a way, the angels’ share is the photosynthesis of cognac. Oak is the origin of certain cognac aromas and colors, and blends the eaux-de-vie together. Like vines, oak trees retain a strong impression of the terroir that affects its grain, influenced by the type of soil, the depth of the root system and therefore the minerals derived from it.
Oak also symbolizes different aspects of time. First, our French oak forests take two hundred years to supply our stave mills and cooperages. It also reminds us of the time needed to age the finest eaux-de-vie, just as the oak wedding anniversary celebrates 80 years of marriage. The oak-cognac association is not just a question of aging and barrels; it also reminds us of the wooden roof beams of our cellars and even the gabarres, the traditional river boats that were used to transport barrels. Oak perfectly symbolizes the history of cognac and the transmission of know-how and eaux-de-vie from generation to generation.