The cognac vineyard is not only the source of production of the precious elixirs, in particular cognac and Pineau des Charentes. There are a multitude of varieties of these products which will each correspond to a moment or even a ritual so as not to lose… a drop.
And then, living in the cognac vineyard means going out to meet the producers, finding accommodation in the heart of the vineyards, knowing the places to visit, organize activities and activities that exist in appellations with a strong identity.
Taste the vineyard
Cognac and Pineau des Charentes are two products well known to the public…. at least by name. Thus, 98% of Cognac production is exported all over the world! and Pineau des Charentes is perceived as a simple (but very good aperitif drink).
However, there are very wide ranges of these products which will require support in order to have a detailed knowledge of how to best taste them.
Among the best ways to access reliable information, the Maison de la Vigne et des Saveurs in Archiac, which offers a wide choice of bottles from producers in Haute-Saintonge. Some of these same producers welcome in their cellars or at the foot of the still.
Finally, restaurateurs also give pride of place to these local productions both on the drink menu and in the dishes they simmer to satisfy gourmets.
Discoveries around Cognac Vineyards & Pineau des Charentes
Visit living cellars!
Around Jonzac and throughout Haute Saintonge, many winegrowers welcome visitors all year round to communicate their passion for the terroir and the products that they prepare with patience.
Surprisingly, it is perhaps in winter that the discovery is most exciting at the time of distillation. Indeed, while the stills operate over a given period, it is possible to witness the “correct heating” which includes many steps to achieve the desired brandy. The distillation process then becomes more concrete than ever and the aromas invade the distilleries where there is a pleasant heat.
Summer is also a season in which many producers open their aging cellars to organize concerts, exhibitions, thematic tours, discoveries of food / cognac associations and other experiences that must be discovered.
Among the musts; the “night-time winegrower’s walk”, the “distiller’s breakfast”, the harvest festival have become essential experiences for those who want to experience a moment in the heart of a unique terroir.
Throughout the year, the Jonzac tourist office also organizes Discovery trips to these producers to learn more about pruning, harvesting and other phases of vineyard management and the aging of eaux de vie/brandies. Among the objects of astonishment and tradition around cognac: the Charentais burnt which is a spectacular way of consuming cognac …
Le Sentier du Vigneron (The Winegrower’s Path)
To discover the cognac vineyard with the family … a few minutes from Jonzac, Le Chai du Rouissoir offers a route on the vineyard and woodland paths of the property.
Equipped with the “digital viti-tablet”, the family goes for a 2,5 km walk/stroll between vineyards, woods and fields following the instructions of the heroine of the game “Inès” and her grandparents, and to solve the riddles about nature, the work of the vine, cereals, the world of woodland… All this while having fun!
The questions in the game have two reading levels: for children and for adults, so that the whole family can improve their knowledge!
This walk will end in the distillery, near the traditional still, for a tasting with the winemaker.
Chai du Rouissoir
1, Roussillon – 17500 Ozillac
+33 (0)5 46 48 14 76 – +33 (0)6 89 95 08 22
Accommodation and catering
Sites of visits and activities, producers, accommodation and restaurants have signed up to a “Vineyards and discoveries” labeling process in order to showcase their know-how and all the culinary and qualitative arts related to Cognac, Pineau des Charente and local wine.
Beyond this approach, which guarantees a desire to be part of a collective approach, there are many accommodations nestled in the heart of the vineyard to appreciate its calm and beauty. Hotels, guest rooms and lodges thus offer an environment of choice to be as close as possible to producers and to go for a walk on the paths which crisscross the hillsides.