During the Soviet times, as we consumed our wonderful brandies using the same name that defines the products produced in the French region of Charente – Cognac.
As history has it Nikolai Shustov, the first manufacturer of the Russian brandy, presented his products made in Odessa (Ukraine) and Yerevan (Armenia) at the World Expo`1900 in Paris. His anonymous samples of products took part at the tasting. All experts unanimously awarded to give his product a gold medal. After the disclosure of the name of the winner Shustov received the right from the French to call his products as «cognac».
However, in 1909, area of the cognac production was delimited, and since 1936 «cognac» has been legally approved and protected as an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (controlled name of origin). Despite this, the Soviet Union continued to call its brandy so.
October 31, 1958, many countries have signed Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration. After gaining its independence, Moldova has acceded to the Agreement and other international documents protecting the geographical indications, appellations of origin and guaranteed traditional specialty products, and has renounced and stopped using protected foreign names in reference to its own products.
When it was necessary to come up with the original name of the Moldovan cognac, Professor Anatoly Balanutsa, dean of the winemaking of the Technical University, proposed the word «distvin» – an abbreviation of the term “DISTilat de VIN” (wine distillate). A famous Moldovan scientist Emile Rusu perfected it for «divin». By the way, the word «divin» in Moldovan / Romanian language means «divine, marvelous, wonderful».
And thus, since 1993, the Moldovan «cognac» is legally and officially called «divin». «Divin» is both a generic name of this particular type of product and a state-owned trademark.
The law on grapes and wine gives such a definition:
«Divin is a strong alcoholic drink made from wine distillates, matured for at least three years, with the addition of softened water, sugar syrup and, if necessary, sugar caramel and alcohol-fortified waters until the organoleptic physical and chemical parameters set in the relevant technical regulations».
One of the leading domestic brandy masters – Sergey Babiy of «Barza Alba» corporation, gave divin his own explanation:
Divin («cognac») is born in time, and the time is past, present and future; the fruit of the sacred vine, which has a beginning; lulled on the strong hands of a secular oak, warmed by the hands of a brandy master, who breathed life into its slender body, creating harmony».