Antoine, Jean-Francois and Guillaume
Distillerie du Peyrat has distilled cognacs for several decades; the family has been present as distillers in the Charentes region since 1705. After having distilled Cognac for bigger, well known brands, the owners, Sonia and Jean-Francois Rault, decided to focus on the production of Organic Cognacs. They have been joined by their sons Antoine (pictured here), responsible for the distillation process and the business side of the company, and Guillaume, in charge of the vines.
They are located in a small village 10km East of Cognac on the banks of a river. The distillery owns nine pot stills, all made by hand. The oldest was built in 1968 by Jean-François Rault. They have a 25 hectoliters (2500 liters) to 60 hectoliters capacity for the largest. The resulting fruity eaux de vie are intense expression of the terroir, with a total production of around 160,000 bottles per year.
Cognac du Peyrat is certified organic by the USDA, and the strict European organization, Ecocert. The distillery has also committed to:
– Choosing “green” electricity produced by sustainable methods. Although there is no current alternative to gas energy for the flaming of the pot stills during the distillation process, the distillery aims at compensating their energy requirements by producing their own solar electricity. 300 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels have been laid on the roofs, producing up to 35,000 Kwh a year – which amounts to the average yearly consumption of gas and electricity of 2.3 European households.
– Using recycled paper.
In February 2020, helped by a team of volunteers from the agricultural school l’Oisellerie, they planted over 500 shrubs and trees alongside their vineyards: common hawthorns, field maples, bloody dogwoods, elderberry trees and European crab apples. They will eventually grow into hedges, providing food and shelter to the local wildlife and contributing to fertilizing the soil and keeping unwanted insects off the vineyards.