Brandy is the generic name of the spirit derived from the distillation of wine, after a period of aging in barrel; this appellation is universally employed. In some areas, wine brandy receives a designation of origin linked to the production area (Armagnac, Cognac). Brandy can be produced in any country where grapes are grown.
The etymology of the word derives from the abbreviation of the English brandywine, in turn translated from the Dutch brandewijn, i.e. burnt wine (distilled). The Dutch in the seventeenth century were the most active merchants of wines and spirits, and they obtained supplies along the Atlantic coasts, from France to Portugal, to export them to England and throughout Northern Europe.