Distillery of Pleasure

Once upon a time there was a rural town on the Charente riverside that gave its name to an internationally acclaimed liquor: Cognac.

Take a stroll along the Charente quay, a perfect departure spot for visitors who wish to discover the story of this town and its precious beverage. The city and its famous liquor are inseparable, in fact you can see 'the angels' share' (the small amount of alcohol that evaporates as the beverage matures in its cask) on the town’s walls. Indeed, as it evaporates a microscopic brown mushroom develops, causing the town’s walls to darken.

Throughout the 15th century, the region only produced wine. The Dutch began distilling after settling in Cognac to dry up the marshes. However it was not until the 17th century that double distillation was invented, and thus Cognac was created. Thanks to Anglo-Saxon merchants such as Martell (External link) and Hennessy (External link) , the delicious beverage was sent out to conquer the world: first the New World, then Asia.

Today, Cognac is sold in over 160 countries and is savored in different ways. In China, they add water to their Cognac and drink it at dinner. In Australia, it is added to cocktails. And in Russia, it is often savored pure as a substitute for vodka. Some, such as Sir Winston Churchill, have even been said to smoke Cognac-filled cigars!

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