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The famous Bas Armagnac region is located in Gascony in the southwest of France. Gascony, which abuts Spain and the Pyrenees to the south, is a temperate region whose menu of delights includes foie gras, lovely red and white table wines, and rich local cuisine.

Part of what separates Armagnac's brandies from those of rival Cognac is the state of the locale's base wines. Whereas Cognac's wines are typically thin, acidic, and rarely employed as table wine, Armagnac's are generous and perfectly suitable as still wines served with lunch or dinner.

Dartigalongue Armagnac

It was in 1838 during the reign of Louis Phillipe that Pascal Dartigalongue, originally from Saint Lannes near Madiran, moved to Nogaro in the Gers and founded his maison d'Armagnac which is alive and well today. He very quickly realised that Armagnac could be a successful export product. Despite many difficulties he managed to send oak casks of Armagnac to Bayonne where they would be shipped on to Holland and England.

In 1870 he acquired the present vineyard, "lacroutz", at Salles d'Armagnac. In about 1900 Joseph's son Henri took over the family business. It was at this time that Eau de vie officially became Know as Armagnac and acquired the appellation 'Jaune d'Or'. Thanks to the continuing expansion of the railways the trade in Armagnac also continued to grow.

In 1930 Henri's very young son Pierre took on the responsibility of visiting their clients, first in France and later abroad. This initiative increased sales dramatically. In 1936, at the end of prohibition, he went to the USA and did some very good business with the Americans. After the end of the second world war he developed the sale of Armagnac throughout Europe .

His son Jean-Pierre and his daughter Françoise now run the family business and is one of the last family run Armagnac houses of merchant-producers in the Bas-Armagnac. They take pride in maintaining the century and half old family traditions of service and quality and living up to the family motto "My Armagnac, my strength".

In Armagnac, producers typically reduce with water and aerate the aging brandy on a regular basis, and everyplace seems to do it a little bit differently. At Dartigalongue, every two years they aerate the brandy for half a day and reduce it by 2% abv for the first 10 years. They say that this created the special taste of the brand. After ten years, they only reduce the Armagnac every 5-7 years or so.

In France the brand is sold by more than 300 wine merchants, as well as a hundred resturants among which 20 of them hold Michelin stars (2 and 3 stars)

And now, it is also available in Australia.

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