Cognac and the Charente
Cognac, a name, a brand known all over the world.
And it is also a nice city and area to visit.
Cognac was a modest little village until the middle of the Xe century. Cognac rapidly became one of the main centers of trade activity in the Angoulême and Saintonge areas, thanks to its river port, the salt and wine trades and finally in eaux-de-vie. On the right bank, the Saint-Jacques district is particularly lively. Its church, the numerous shops and its Saturday morning open air market mean that there is a multitude of services on offer to tourists.
On the left bank, the castle where François 1st was born in 1494 dominates the river Charente. Walking back up to the cobbled streets in the old town, visitors arrive at the town center which has been redeveloped and made more attractive, with the most beautiful covered market in the region inspired by the famous french architect Victor Baltard (19th). The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday until 1 p.m.
The vineyard of Cognac is the largest in France. The cognac comes from a double distillation, once fermentation is completed, in order to obtain the eau-de-vie. Cognac can only be aged in oak barrels. In fact, the eau-de-vie only becomes cognac after slowly maturing between two and one hundred years. Cognac is the result of a marriage of eaux-de-vie of different ages and from different growth areas. It is the cellar master who produces the blend which is often based on expertise and know-how.