The Darroze family has more than its fair share of exceptional artisans, starting with the brilliant chef Hélène Darroze, who we find at The Connaught (3 stars) and Marsan Paris (2 stars). Her brother, Marc, didn’t stray from their family roots, inheriting the estate from his father Francis, who recently passed away. Tradition is at the heart of this work, with eaux-de-vie that have traversed generations.
A bit of history
Maison Darroze came to life around the activity of Jean and his restaurant in Villeneuve-de-Marsan, where he passed on his precious savoir-faire of all things culinary to his son, Francis. Alongside this, Francis also inherited his father’s biggest passion of all; a vocation for the craft of armagnac, the regional eau-de-vie. From the end of the 60s, Francis began the project of selecting, maturing, and bottling his finest discoveries. This was the very beginning of Maison Darroze. Year upon year, this top-class négoce gained a certain renown, working with unique domains and crus, in small lots, all without blending. This is the Darroze identity. Their armagnacs thus come from over 30 different domains, each expressing the character of their own terroir and their own know-how, then matured in the cellars of Marc Darroze.
Authenticity at its heart
Darroze’s armagnacs might well be considered the crème de la crème of Gascony’s traditional produce. Their quest for authenticity is shown in their concrete actions, like the total banning of added sugar, tannin, or caramel, all of which can be found in industrial production to accelerate the euau-de-vie’s ageing process. Local grape varieties are preferred; the cuvées are then distilled in traditional alembic stills with short columns. Finally, the oak used for the maturation casks is cut from local forests. For Darroze, authenticity is found in the central importance of place.