Exploring the roots of an authentic Cognac

Exploring the roots of an authentic Cognac

To find an authentic cognac, connoisseurs and lovers of brandy must travel to the Charente region in western France, where the cognac distilleries and vineyards spread out over the French countryside. Many of these vineyards are open to the public, some free of charge, allowing us to discover the secrets behind making a great cognac.

The central town of Cognac is home to several of the big names in brandy, such as Hennessy, Remy Martin and Martell, but dozens of smaller, lesser known vineyards are to be found here too, and in the surrounding countryside.

There are also many ‘maison de negoces’ or ‘cognac merchants’, for example Bache Gabrielsen, hidden away in Cognac’s back streets, where secret blends are mixed by the ‘maitre de chai’ (cellar master).

Out into the surrounding Charente countryside, vineyards and distilleries show off their skills with interesting and lively tours. In Jarnac, you can learn the whole process of cognac production in easy to understand layman’s terms with visual exhibits, and afterwards taste some samples from the Hine collection of fine cognacs.

Alternatively, visit the Tonnellerie Allary and see how the coopers handcraft every barrel. This is an important stage in cognac production, the cask must be made from French oak for the special aromas of caramel, vanilla and spice ginger that the wood imparts.

Here at H Cooper Glass Engravers, we have a collection of fine engraved brandy glasses for you to choose from, perfect for enjoying a sip of cognac from this special region of France.

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