Colombier pear brandy
Pear brandy was first produced in France in Villette de Vienne by Joannès Colombier who, as one of a few licenced private distillers, used to distill a small amount of brandy from pears growing in his orchard. Fernand POINT , who ran a famous restaurant, LA PYRAMIDE in Vienne, and was a friend of Mr Colombier's went into raptures upon tasting this excellent fruity liquor and asked his friend to save his produce for him from the 1930's onwards. As time went by, the fame of this brandy spread in the restaurant world and by the 1960's it was also available in specialized outlets.
The tradition pioneered by Joannès Colombier has been continued by his son-in-law and daughter, Renaud and Anne-Marie du Closel, who retired in November 2006. After them, Sophie and Stéphane JAY are the third generation of orchardmen-distillators. They still distill brandy from William pears in their 8-Hectares (25 acres) orchard in the northern part of the Rhone valley, where both the soil and climate are ideal for growing William pear-trees (a fifth of the orchard is over 100 years old). As orchardmen, Sophie and Stéphane JAY are in the position to control every step of the brandy-making process : the trees themselves are not irrigated and the pears are never refrigerated. Maturing conditions are therefore ideal and the character of the brandy is closely scrutinized from one year to the next.
The temperature of the must is regulated naturally thanks to fermentation in underground vats. A slow distilling method - involving redistilling and core selection - is used. The brandy is marketed in two formulation: 43° ( easier to taste with instant fruity sensation) or 50° (a more delicate fragrance and greater persistence to the taste). Tasting is very much a matter of individual preference but it is generally agreed that pear brandy gives of its best at temperature lying between 5 and 10°C.
523 Route de Marennes
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