A unique estate
“Haut juché, juche le plus haut“, beautiful and noble motto which gives an identity to our past, our history, our traditions, a few words at the foot of a majestic Rooster, the coat of arms of our family that we would translate by: ” Go high to see far ”.
Perched on top of a hill, our beautiful estate La Pouyade, has been in our family since 1894. Its imposing residence overlooks our magnificent vineyard, located in the heart of Grande Champagne, 1er Cru du Cognac (1909).
The 25 hectare vineyard of the Domaine de la Pouyade is located in Juillac-le-Coq, in the heart of the best of Grande Champagne also called “the golden triangle” (Angeac-Champagne, Verrières and Juillac le Coq). The establishment of the vines on this limestone fault and the exposure of the vineyard on the very sunny produce a wine ideal for distillation.
Ugni Blanc, the major grape variety of the Domaine de la Pouyade’s vineyards, brings all the qualities necessary for the wine to be distilled: fine and delicate wine, degree between 9% and 11%, high acidity, and poor in tannins. For a few years now, we have also been experimenting with Folignan – a cross between Folle Blanche and Ugni Blanc which offers the aromatic qualities of the first and resistance and strength of the second.
You will naturally have to be patient to taste … the result!
On the Road to the vines
It is from this limestone soil typical of the Grande Champagne, that we extract the finest and most distinguished Eaux-de-Vie. The Ugni Blanc grape variety (editor’s note. Trebbiano in Italy) is there perfectly suited to produce the best wines for distillation.
The harvest takes place at the end of September / beginning of October, and it produces a fine and delicate wine with the lies which will be distilled twice, in the traditional Charentais pot still.
After the alcoholic fermentation which is the transformation of sugar into alcohol, the malolactic fermentation begins naturally: it is the transformation of malic acid into lactic acid thanks to the natural ferments contained in the grape. This malolactic fermentation allows us to obtain more aromatic wines and therefore also more aromatic Cognacs after distillation.
The house “JEAN FILLIOUX” is adamant that its wines undergoes this type of fermentation before being distilled. Consequently our distillation rarely starts before December.
In the cellar’s shadow
The ageing process is one of our specialties.
The barrels used for ageing are made of French oak, approximately 90% is from the Limousin region. It is a loose-grain tree that releases its tannins and aromas widely. The other 10% are barrels from the Tronçay forest, a tight-grained oak that brings other families of aromas.
In addition, the barrels are chosen by our cellar masters Christophe and Pascal, directly from the coopers. Rare fact, they work with many Charentais coopers in order to obtain a great diversity of barrels: Taransaud, Leroi, Radoux, Sansaud, Marchive… This diversity of casks allows a greater aromatic palette of eau-de-vie. Ideal for our blending possibilities but also perfectly suited for an atypical “Single Cask”!
Most of the young “JEAN FILLIOUX” Cognacs are aged in “red” barrels. These “second filled” caks are barrels which have contained Cognacs for 5 to 10 years. It tends to keep all the elegance and freshness of the fruit (the grape) and are often more floral.
The spirits which are intented to age for 20 years and more, are put in new barrels for 3 to 5 years. Then they will be placed in old barrels so that the tannins of the wood are melted and softened (astringency and bitterness). After 20 years, the wood will deliver all the power of its aromas, honey, vanilla, coconut, cinnamon, spices and carry the aromas of fruits (orange, pear, tangerine, banana) and flowers (jasmine, rose, wallflower, spring flowers).
As the ageing unfolds, the aromas of fresh fruit will become aromas of ripe fruit, then candied fruit, spicy aromas will develop, and this is the long road to “rancio”.
In the harmony with the nature
At the Domaine Jean Fillioux, we are respectful of the environment, our entire vineyard has been conducted by sustainable agriculture. To do this, the vines are naturally grassed and worked every other row by plowing.
Since 2013, Christophe Fillioux and his wife Virginie (Engineer in oenology) joined the network of observers of the cognac vineyard health bulletin coordinated by the Chamber of Agriculture. The vineyard is monitored regularly during the treatment period in order to be as minimalist as possible in terms of interventions.
Since 2019, with the same objective, our plots are protected by a system of sexual confusion, a biotechnical method that limits the reproduction of cluster worms. This action is also carried out jointly with our neighbors to maximize its effectiveness.
Finally, many natural hedges, plant cover, walnut trees, truffle oaks, fruit trees are preserved or planted to ensure significant biodiversity, an attitude that is close to our hearts. Indeed, we regularly observe dozens of animal species: birds, rabbits, squirrels … each year, among others, swallows and bats come back to seek refuge in the domain, yet another proof that life is good at the Domain!