RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Armagnac Academies launched

Armagnac might be the oldest spirit in France that celebrated its 700th anniversary in 2010 but how much do you really know about it?

The B.N.I.A. (Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac) has recognised that there is still a great lack of knowledge in the drinks industry about Armagnac, the AOC brandy, even though it is possibly the oldest spirit in France having celebrated its 700th anniversary in 2010. The bureaux has, therefore, initiated an education programme known as Armagnac Academies that will be led and instructed in the UK by Edward Bates, a well known spirits expert heading The Spirits Authority and a former spirits buyer at Berry Bros & Rudd.
An Armagnac Academy will entail one full day of intensive learning including lectures, tastings and a written exam. The first session will take place this autumn in London at the wine and spirit dedicated Vinopolis in central London.
Candidates will pay £100 (excl VAT) per person for an in-depth insight into the diverse world of Armagnac, its three regions of production and the different soil types in each. They will discover its producers and its diversity, how it is made and from which grapes, how the wine is produced and then distilled, the different types of alambic used and the rules and regulations surrounding the age categories, the wood used for the barrels employed for ageing, the blends and the vintages.  Every subject necessary to allow a better understanding of this fine spirit will be covered in detail and students will taste newly distilled spirit from each region and each grape variety.
Each successful candidate will be presented with an official B.N.I.A. qualification certified and issued by the B.N.I.A. from France.
This is an opportunity for sommeliers, bartenders and retailers to demonstrably widen their knowledge of Armagnac enabling them to reply to demands from their customers with confidence and credibility and will give an enhanced knowledge of how Armagnac can help improve the profitability of any business be it on-trade or off-trade.
Places will be limited to 30 on a strictly first come first served basis for the first session on 14th October 2013.
Please contact Edward Bates on to reserve a place.


23 September 2013 - Felicity Murray, editor