The rain in southwestern France is truly blessed – destined for a journey like none other. Through world-renowned grape vines these tears from the sky gain personality, get pressed into wine, and transformed into the “water of life” by local artisans of a time-honored craft.
Open scene to a dusty Cognac cellar, camera situated upon the striking image of a demijohn labeled with the year 1830. It is from here that we will tell the story of the eternal patience of cognac raindrops… or, better yet, the thirsty angels that wait to imbibe their outcome.
You see, the rain in southwestern France is truly blessed – destined for a journey like none other. Through world-renowned grape vines these tears from the sky gain personality, get pressed into wine, and transformed into the “water of life” by local artisans of a time-honored craft. Life is quiet in Cognac’s seemingly ostentatious surroundings. Yes, there are real-life châteaux and castles, from which manifest equally impressive characters of painstaking circumstance.
A silk-slippered generation awaits this year’s production to run off the stills, anxiously hoping to continue their family’s legacy and define themselves in an impossible manner left only to the decades to decide. Lunch may or may not consist of three courses laid out upon a pristine wooden table, upon the finest of china, surrounded by tapestries depicting the life of Alexander the Great. Outside the immediate window, no less than nineteen deer may parade in the rain and give way to a view of vast vineyards.
While the life depicted could seem deceivingly easy and luxe, the audience need be reminded that these are the same people held responsible for slaking the thirst of angels. To make a liquid so divine requires meticulous attention to detail and a prayer or two about every year’s harvest. While a precious formula has long been applied, every year is a gamble left to satisfy the very forces responsible for such luck.
Cut to scenes of endless vineyards, the copper tools of distillation, barrels stacked upon barrels, and a hand drawing out liquid gold from a wooden cask. Visuals are imperative here, or else we may never understand the true gravity of what it means to make cognac. The trade-off for rare comfort comes at the cost of one’s life. For to make cognac is to dedicate one’s entire might to the cause.
The result of hard work literally evaporates year after year, sampled by the powers that be, until the time comes to share it with the world. This is a sacrament carefully guarded by the humble farmers of ancient lands, distillers attuned to inherent high notes, and cellar masters capable of composing a masterpiece year after year. This is the story of cognac – a spirit that constantly looks to the future, while sharing the confidence of the past.