The Cognac region covers the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime and is home to the most famous French brandy, Cognac. Less than two hours away from Bordeaux, the birthplace of King Francois I, is a must-see stop for spirits aficionados, as this is where they can taste and enjoy this superb French brandy known the world-over as they learn about it.
With its nearly 75,000 hectares, the Cognac region encompasses the largest white-grape vineyard in Europe. It is divided into six high-quality grape-growing crus (“zones”): Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Bois Ordinaire. Although the names of the first two might sound deceiving, these Cognac regions should not be confused with the Champagne region and its sparkling wines, as they are not in the least related.
The Cognac region has five wine routes to guide visitors as they explore the vineyards around the historic villages of Cognac and Saintes. Most Cognac houses open their doors to tourists and locals alike for an interesting “behind the scenes” look into the unique process of making Cognac, from vine to bottle. Guided tours will teach you about the official quality grades of Cognac (V.S., V.S.O.P., XO and Hors d’âge), the savoir-faire behind the art of blending and the very specific terroirs that make Cognac possible.
Come discover the Cognac regions and the first-class Cognacs that are produced in the area. Indulge in a fine pairing at a gastronomic restaurant or walk around Cognac and Saintes to admire some impressive cultural and architectural sights.