Cognac is perhaps France’s most prestigious brandy, though the region was actually one of the last areas in the country to learn distillation. The spirit is distilled from grapes, most of which being of the Ugni Blanc variety. The grapes are grown in the area surrounding the town of Cognac, and here there is one of the crucial distinctions in the spirit. The innermost regions (the Grande Champagne and the Petite Champagne regions) are said to be the best, and the further out one goes from the centre of Cognac, the less prestigious the eaux-de-vie becomes. Just like whisky, Cognac is presented with age designations, though unlike whisky, a lettering system is used. VS, or Very Special, refers to brandy aged for at least 2 years; VSOP, or Very Superior Old Pale, refers to brandy aged for at least 4 years; whereas XO, or Extra Old, refers to brandy of six years or older.