Armagnac

Aquitaine

Armagnac Armagnac is divided into three sub-regions:

BAS-ARMAGNAC
The Bas-Armagnac (lower-Armagnac) is named for its lower altitude, rather than lower quality. The highest number of quality-oriented producers is located in the northwestern portion of the Bas-Armagnac, specifically in the département of Les Landes.

This region, unofficially known as the Grand Bas-Armagnac, has sand-based soil, often with a high iron content (sables fauves) or with small pieces of clay (boulbènes) that tend to yield spirits that are very supple in their youth. The Bas-Armagnac is dominated by Bacco and Ugni Blanc plantings.


TÉNARÈZE
While several excellent independent producers exist in the Ténarèze, this central region is home to most of Armagnac's négociants. The soil base in the Ténarèze is harder (clay and limestone) giving spirits that are firmer in their youth.

Spirits from the Ténarèze, however, generally have the ability to age longer than those from the Bas-Armagnac. Plantings are dominated by Ugni Blanc and Colombard, and many farmers divert a good portion of their crop into excellent Côtes de Gascogne wines or Floc de Gascogne, the region's equivalent of Pineau des Charentes.

HAUT-ARMAGNAC
While the Haut-Armagnac comprises nearly 50% of the Armagnac region and is the most visually compelling, one is hard-pressed to find any vines among its rolling hills. Only a handful of independent producers still exist, and the region's limestone soils generally give spirits that are both flat and hard.