American brandy is mostly made in California. If it’s not aged at least two years, it must be labeled as “immature,” and those brandies made from anything else besides grapes must be labeled with what is used.
Pisco is produced in Chile and Peru from a distillate of aromatic grapes. Peruvians prefer to use a pot still, while Chileans like a continuous still. Pisco may be bottled unaged or lightly aged, and it’s mainly designed to be enjoyed in cocktails like the Pisco Sour and Pisco Punch.
Calvados is distilled in a designated area of the Normandy and Brittany area of France from fermented apple juice. (Those labeled AOC Domfrontais may have 30% pears.) It’s either double-distilled in a pot (mandatory for Pays d’Auge Calvados)or a column still. Calvados is aged in barrels, a minimum of three years for Fine/***, a minimum of three years for Vieux/Reserve, a minimum of four years for VO/VSOP/Vieille Reserve and a minimum of six years for XO.
Grappa/Marc is made from the grape pomace, the pressed grape skins that are left over after making wine. It may be distilled in a pot or column still, and is usually a blend of varietals. This brandy is called Grappa in Italy, and Marc in France.
Fruit Eaux-de-Vie can be made anywhere, though production is concentrated in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Alsace. For it, fruit is either crushed and fermented or macerated in neutral alcohol and then fermented, and then distilled in either a continuous or pot still. Some of the more popular styles are Kirsch (cherries), Poire Willliam (Williams Pears) and Framboise (raspberries).
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