Generally, the grape must, which contains residual alcohol, is taken to the local distillery. In 1995, Anne and Jean-Pierre invested in a still. Their passion for spirits led them to keep the AOP Luberon grape pomace and to distil it themselves.
They chose an Armagnac-type still custom-made in the town of Condom by the French still maker Sofac. The still is a mid-size still between the sample and the first model. The still is made of copper which enables the expression of the very best aromas. .
One single distillation suffices to distil the 5 hl of marc. The marc is very gradually gas-heated to 100 degrees C, temperature at which distillation begins. The vapours go through pipes in the central vertical column which concentrate the alcohol at each distillation plate. The alcohol goes into a pipe which enters the cooling tank then exits from the cooling, where the alcohol is put to the side or kept, depending on its strength. A single distillation requires an entire day, and is very carefully monitored from start to finish. Temperatures are carefully kept as low as possible. Once the process is started, it takes more than an hour before the alcohol begins slowly to flow..
The first and last distillation products are low in alcohol and are put to the side. The heart of the process, which can reach a strength of 65 to 70% alcohol is all that is kept.
This eau-de-vie is then brought to a strength of 42% alcohol through a slow process that takes place in the barrels that uses distilled water. 42% alcohol is where the distilled fruit best expresses all its flavour and fragrance.
The still can distil grape pomace, fruit, wine and other macerations.