The region of Armagnac lays claim to being France’s first brandy, having embraced distillation in the 15th century as the process slowly spread from Moorish Spain. Cognac, some 100 miles to the north, got into the game considerably later but quickly capitalized on it due to access to river transport and foreign markets. Deep in the southwest, Armagnac remained in splendid, fractured isolation.
Today, the small firm of Francis Darroze is the reference point for Armagnac. The reason for this stems directly from the original relationships Francis cultivated among his producers, and from the meticulous attention to detail Francis and Marc have brought to bear.