Monday, May 6, 2019


Our drive today took us to Cognac, which is not only a spirited libation, it's also the town where Hennessy is headquartered.  The chateau is impressive, and our tour began with a boat ride to the other side of the Charente River, there we were shown a video and then toured the cellars.  The grapes for cognac come from this area, and there are strict requirements as to how the cognac is made. 
Hennessy was founded in the 1700s by an Irishman with forward-thinking ideas about commerce and sales.  His Cognac was the first sold to the American colonies, and the rest is history.  Hennessy is sold around the world, with some types only sold in various areas to complement the tastes of their customers, such as the Pure White sold in the Caribbean. 

Hennessy employs its own masters to create their barrels, which are reused, and repaired in their cooperage. 

You can see how precisely the barrels are placed here in the cellar.  When a new employee lays down a line of barrels, the others will put a bouquet of flowers over the front barrel to applaud their new co-worker, as well as labeling the side of barrels in that row to identify the employees' hard work. 
There are 3 calligraphers employed by Hennessy to write on the barrels.  Every step is geared toward tradition as well as history. 

After a tasting, we were let loose in the retail store, showcasing the interesting shapes and designs of their bottles.  Of course, there are the traditional bottles as well. 
After our tour, we headed off into the countryside for our next nights' stay near Bergerac.  Finally, in the Perigord, we are at a beautiful chateau where we enjoyed a delightful dinner with our group. 
View from our room

A few classics

In the Dordogne at last, foie gras

Beautiful vegetarian starter

Ah, duck breast

Dessert-sort of creme caramel with fruit
After this delicious dinner, we decided it was time for bed, and a late morning wake-up call, since our drive, will only be 70 miles and we can laze around in the morning.  Off to St. Emilion sometime after 11 tomorrow.  Ciao for now. 

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