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The Charentais Vineyard


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Site map - Cognac, Pineau, Pays Charentais Wines, Charentais vineyard

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Vignoble Charentais

also to discover


To see, north to south

The "Marais Poitevin"

La Rochelle

Island of Ré

Island of Aix



Madame Island

Island of Oléron




La Tremblade


La Palmyre









To do


Boat trips





The market


Drives through the vineyards

Drives through the marshes

Drives through the forest


To know

The Romanesque Art


The Citadel of Brouage

The Citadel of Blaye

The lighthouses

The forest of La Coubre

The marshes

The "Marais Poitevin"

The carrelets

The ostreiculture

Vine and wines

To taste






Sea food

"Terroir" products

The restaurants



Local wines "Vins de Pays"

The two departments Charentais, Charente and Charente-Maritime produce an increasingly wide range of local wines and vine wines, white, red and rosé. The wine growers organise themselves in order to diversify and change the image of the vineyard.

The white wines represent more than 80 % of the production. Dry, light and fruity, they are the perfect accompaniment for seafood dishes. Among the white pure vine wines, the ‘colombard’ is particularly typical of the area.

The red, fruity wines, best drunk young, perfectly accompany local, traditional food.

The rosé wines are gaining more and more popularity all the time.

 Pineau, fruit of the vine and of a fortunate accident

We are told that in the 16th century, a wine grower made the mistake of pouring fresh fermenting grape juice, (must), into a barrel still containing brandy. This mixture stopped the fermentation of the must and gave alcoholic strength to the wine.

This is how pineau was born; a liquor wine, appellation d’origine contrôlée. The operation of mutage makes ‘musts’ inactive by stopping fermentation with the addition of alcohol. Pineau exists in white and rosé, according to the type of vines used.

The alcoholometric volume must be at least of 16 %. Pineau ages in oak barrels.

The preparation of pineau follows strict rules, which guarantee a superior quality. You will notice on each bottle, the guarantee stamp of the trade union of the Producers of Pineau des Charentes.

Pineau has to be served chilled, without ice and in general, offered as an aperitive. It is a good accompaniment for melon as well as foie gras.

Pineau, the approach of the connoisseur

le magasin Arrivé à Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

Pineau, it’s an extremely pleasant aperitif which is usually served chilled. An outstanding product of the area. What is it exactly ? It is advisable to ask Mr. Favre who, will always, good-naturedly offer you a tasting and a chance to buy in the market of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. His pineau, is his product, his child. Do not say anything bad about it ! The best time to visit him is late afternoon, in Campagne on the road to Epargnes. Finally, taste it and enjoy it. Very close to the market of Saint-Palais, just opposite, you have the pineau of Mr. Arrivé. Enter the shop and Madam will make sure you enjoy the pineau ‘Château Bellevue’ .

There are many places where you can get supplies of pineau. For example, inland, on the road to Rochefort, you will find in Saint-Sulpice-de-Royan, the co-operative cellar of la Seudre. In this quiet spot, you will be able to fill your boot with bottles of Rayon d’Or .

I usually go to buy my pineau in Saint-Dizant-du-Gua. It is on the secondary road which connects Royan to Bordeaux but be careful not to miss the turn to the right, in a village which still has a beautiful Romanesque church.There, you will drive through fields to Saint-Dizant-du-Gua. At Saint-Dizant-du-Gua, turn left and you will see a single-storey house in which you will be able to hear the history of pineau. Do not hesitate to taste the pineau and, if you like it, to buy

There are still many places where you can buy this nectar. Just stop from time to time and follow a sign, for example, " pineau : turn to the first right " and enter the farm or house. If you enjoy the pineau after tasting it , you can buy a bottle, if not, just say that you need time to think about it or that you will come back another time.

If I discover some other places to buy pineau, I will tell you about them. But if you can, avoid the supermarkets.. For a pineau, that spoils the romance.

Cognac, a very French product, but is it really known?

la carte des terroirs du Cognac

Here is a short history of the birth of cognac. Already at the time of the Romans and the Gauls, a vineyard existed around La Rochelle. In the 12th century, under the influence of the King of England, husband of Aliénor d’Aquitaine, the wine trade developed with England and the Scandinavian Countries.

Vineyards expanded in all of the Charente region. But the wine travelled badly and so it was decided to distil it and to export brandy which people drank with added water in the Northern countries.

The vineyard is divided into six ‘terroirs’, six ‘crus’, according to the structure of the ground and the climate.

Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne owe their names to the chalky ground to be found in the area of Rheims.

Three type of vines, the white ugni, the ‘folle blanche’ and the ‘colombard’ are grown to produce the white wines for distilling.

After the double distillation in a typical charentais still, the brandy ages in oak barrels during which time, the wood yields little by little its tannin to the cognac, giving it the taste and its amber colour.

The alcoholic strength drops and the evaporation in the darkness of the cellars, chais, is important. It is known as " the part of the angels ".

Once bottled, the ageing of cognac stops and it conforms with the level of the designation on the label. Those designations vary according to the average age of the brandies which are mixed, as well as their origins.

invitation à visiter Cognac

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