Historically, cognac finds its origins in the wines of Poitou, much appreciated around the 8th century in England, Holland and the Scandinavian countries. But the wine was low in alcohol, making it difficult to transport without alteration. It was then decided to distil it and to carry it as an eau de vie. Coupled with water, the Dutch gave it the name of brandwijn: burnt wine. Later, some crisis led to the tumble of sales and left many stock of oak barrels. Some people discovered that this eau de vie was getting better and better while aging. Cognac was born. The eighteenth century saw the arrival of big merchant houses in Poitou (Martell, Hennessy) and the extensive use of double distillation. Today, cognac enjoys worldwide reputation. 95% of its production is meant for export.