Poitou-Charentes, France travel info

Guide to Poitou-Charentes, France

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France travel facts

France map
Area (sq km): 547,030
Population: 64,102,140
Nationality: French
Local Name: France
Language: French
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Paris
Dialling Code: +33
Electricity: 230V/50Hz
Internet Code: .fr
Religion: Roman Catholic
Climate: Mediterranean,
Marine West Coast
Government: Republic
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 9.00-17.00
Major Airports: Biarritz(BIQ),
Bordeaux(BOD),
Dijon(DIJ),
Marseille(MRS),
Nice(NCE),
Paris(CDG),
Toulouse(XYT)

Poitou-Charentes villas & Cognac

Poitou-Charentes is the proud, and at times boastful, home of Cognac; France’s very special brandy. The city of Cognac itself is famous in its own right with medieval castles and towers, not to mention the “angel’s share” permeating the air around Poitou-Charentes villas.

Cognac copper stills
Cognac copper stills

Nestled in the green meadows near Poitou-Charentes villas is the remarkable city of Cognac and its legendary vineyards. The city of Cognac only adds to the richness of the area with superb buildings and an atmosphere to charm anyone. From French villas drive through the vast expanse of grape vines and get lost in the damp limestone cellars of the most famous Cognac houses in the world.

Cognac & King Francois I

The city of Cognac is a classically French town. History lives and breathes in the narrow, shaded cobblestone streets, the green squares, the remarkable Renaissance buildings and the whispering River Charante. King Francois I always looked back at Cognac with great fondness and adoration, as you too will do when you rent Poitou-Charentes villas.

The city itself carries an air of medieval romance with fine architecture like the Castle of King Francois I and the 17th century Towers of St James’s Gate. While exploring Cognac you will notice a sweet aroma permeating the air. The delicate scent is called the “angel’s share”, a term also used in Scotch Whisky. It is the scent of Cognac seeping through the oak barrels and the evaporation of alcohol.

Making Cognac & angel’s share

Like Champagne, Cognac can only be called Cognac if it comes from this region of France and adheres to the strict rules lain down by the governing body of Cognac production, otherwise, it is simply brandy. Cognac begins as undrinkable white wine made primary, and sometimes exclusively, of Ugni Blanc grapes. The distillation process is what has made Cognac unique and the Poitou-Charentes region of France famous.

Cognac is doubly distilled in regulation copper stills. The “heart” of the cognac is then extracted and aged at least two years in French oak casts usually from the forests of Limousin and Troncais. The porous oak lets alcohol evaporate, called the “angel’s share”, while it imparts woody and vanilla flavours and gives the Cognac its amber hue. The longer the aging the process, the deeper the caramel colour and the more flavourful is the bouquet.

Remy Martin, Hennessey & Courvoisier

The method of producing Cognac has been honed over centuries by cellar masters that have dedicated their lives to making the best Cognac and then passing that knowledge onto the next generation. This love affair has resulted in famous Cognac houses each with distinctly different Cognacs.

While staying in Poitou-Charentes villas visit such renowned Cognac houses as Camus, Remy Martin, Otard, Hennessy, Courvoisier and Louis Royer. Spend a day exploring the vineyards and the limestone caves of the Cognac houses before retiring to the veranda to sip on the aromatic and sweet amber Cognac.

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