According the definitions of the European Union, brandy designates an alcoholic beverage produced with at least 50 percent destillate from wine and a minimum alcohol content of at least 63 Proof (36 percent by volume) (in Germany: 66,5 Proof, 38 percent by volume). Fruit Brandy carry the designation of the used fruit and rank as liqueur (p.e. Apricot Brandy).
Brandy is stored in oakwood barrels. German brandys, which are burned to 100 percent from wine, carries the designation "Weinbrand".
In France, brandy (burned to 100 percent from wine) is called "Eau de Vie de Vin", brandy from controlled regions of origin are called Cognac resp. Armagnac.
Spanish brandy, also burned to 100 percent from wine, from the region of Jerez is called "Brandy de Jerez". Ir is the only kind of brandy protected in the European Union. It results from the almost taste-neutral Destillado with 90-95 percent by volume, on the other hand from the Holanda with 60-65 percent by volume alcohol which is the actual taste and flavour carrier, as a mixture of these two different distillates. Both are first separately stored by a special procedure (Solera procedure), whereby the brandy is stored in a multi-level barrel row in oakwood barrels, in which sherry was stored before, aging from stage to stage. Finally the two distillates are mixed and stored again in the Solera procedure. Depending upon storage duration there exists 3 quality classes: Solera, Solera Reserva and Solera Grand Reserva. The latter can be several decades old.