The Story of La Grande Josiane
La Grande Josiane is produced by the Guasch family, who also produce high quality Armagnacs such as Chateau de Bordeneuve and Baron de Sigognac.
The Guasch family have been in Gascony since the 12th century. They have owned the château at Bordeneuve since 1974. They are one of the region’s largest courtier and negociant operations. Today, the father-and-son team of Jean-Claude and Thomas look after viticulture, vinification and distillation.
Bordeneuve has 60 hectares dedicated to vineyards ; 75 % are planted with ugni blanc and the rest with baco. The vineyards are superbly situated on very fine clay-sand soils, which are high in acidity and in some places mixed with iron, hence the name sables fauves or tawny sands. Boulbène topsoil, the characteristic regional sediment, is rich in limestone. The domaine is almost unique in the region as all its production is distilled into armagnac instead of wine.
There is one short column still at the domaine (almost 100 years old), which produces up to 50–60 casks of new spirit annually. The wine is distilled on its lees, and drawn off at 55–58 %, depending on the harvest. Distillation is continuous through day and night and manually controlled to account for temperature and humidity changes.
Each year’s production is aged on its own and then blended when bottled ; their own distillate is augmented with other armagnac distilled and aged to (Jean-Claude's and Thomas') directions. The vintages are all bottled unblended.