The Vaudon grounds are composed of 60 hectares with the main estate being located in Fins Bois, the largest of all the Cognac growth regions. Vaudon produces both single cru Fins Bois Cognacs and ‘multicru’ blends of these with the neighbouring Grande Champagne.
Pierre Vaudon, Maître de Chai and also owner of Maison Francois Voyer, is responsible for the Vaudon family estate. The family’s distilling origins can be traced back as far as 1771, and they have always produced outstanding Cognacs, even winning a gold medal for their 1811 vintage Cognac in 1913.
The Vaudon brand predominantly focuses on a single vintage of cognac: the Fins Bois, which gives a naturally fruitier and sweeter flavor than those from the Grande Champagne region. The soil in Fins Bois is light and made from hard, superficial calcareous clay which brings body and softness to the cognacs. Eaux-de-vie from this cru is known to age quickly, developing spicy and liquorice notes very early on.
History of Vaudon:
It all began in 1771, when Francois Gaborit passed his Mérignac domain and vineyards on to his stepson, Pierre Nalbert. The domain expanded and evolved for generations, with records regarding the harvests recorded as far back as 1833. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century when a large part of today’s vineyards were planted and the first 25hl still was installed. The second still was installed by Bernard Vaudon, who went on to marry Anne-Marie Mousset, also from a vine-growing family. The estate grew again and it is now Pierre Vaudon, Bernard and Anne-Marie’s son who is responsible for the Vaudon brand.
The Vaudon brand today believes in the importance of giving back to the soil what it exports through the harvests. Its Ugni Blanc grapes follow the precise rules of modern oenology, through delicate pneumatic pressing, lighting settling filtration, yeasting and thermo-regulated fermentation in stainless steel vats, as well as a thorough analysis of the constituents of each wine. These processes build the foundations for its high quality eaux-de-vie. The Vaudon house is also rather unique in that it does not add any sulphur to its eaux-de-vie, so it maintains it fruity and freshness before being lightly brioched through maturation on lees before distillation. Pierre Vaudon uses an old style of distillation on the lees which he learnt from his grandfather, and which produces a particularly rich and elegant eaux-de-vie.
When it comes to the ageing of the eaux-de-vie, Vaudon is meticulous in its preparation. The origin of the wood and the skill of the cooper are highly important, so the house works only with a cooper who has received significant recognition for his profession. Barrels are made of staves of either fine or coarse grain. Fine-grained barrels which are made from the wood of slow-growing oaks, provide a subtle woodiness, whereas coarse-grained barrels give a more defined and full-bodied tannin. The barrels are given a moderate to strong toasting to reveal vanilla notes and provide the toasted character which comes in the first years of ageing. After the initial years of ageing, the eaux-de-vie is transferred to old “Roux’ casks to further mature without adding new tannin.
Vaudon keeps its casks spread across two cellar floors as the ground floor is of higher humidity and allows for rounder eaux-de-vie, whereas the first floor which is drier, delivers finer eaux-de-vie. These two styles are then carefully blended to provide a full and complex cognac.
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