Wine is believed to be the first spirit distilled in the 12th century. It was known as aqua vitae, the water of life.
Eventually this spirit found its way into an oak cask and became brandy. Corrupted from Dutch, brandewijn it means burnt wine.
Wherever wine is grown brandy is usually made. France produces the finest brandies in Cognac and Armagnac. Brandy countries include Spain (brandy de Jerez), Greece (metaxa), South America (pisco) and of course Australia.