Does place like that exist?
Cognac is a small town in the southwest France in Charente province well-known as a world capital of the unique brandy. The first grape-vines appeared in this region 2000 years ago but just in 17th century (1643) locals produced the first brandy. As you can imagine, all in the town is about cognac.
What is Cognac?
It is a grape-based spirit produced from the white vine plants. Vineyards take over 79 000 ha includes 6 different areas called “crus”. Each of them characterize different soil features, which provide specific qualities for this spirit.
Apparently, this is the main business here along with tradition appreciated all around the world. Most of the people I met in the town work in alcohol industry: some as a tourist guides, some with distillation, some with barrels, some with accounting. It’s all about cognac! Advertisements on the streets, posters billboards – everywhere spirits! And the smell all around!
Lovely medieval town
The city itself is very old, full of narrow streets and medieval houses. The main square (Francios Premiere) carries many cafes and restaurants. Small castle on the river bank and city park with the city hall are worth to visit as well. For a longer walk or bike ride there is a great path along the river with amazing views and palaces on the way. Very popular tourists’ attraction (during the season) is the boat ride called “La gabare” which takes you for 1,5hour trip on the Charente river with a guide saying history of the place.
Tourist information is localized next to the main square. It provides all kinds of information as well as reservation of tours in cognac houses. Moreover, it is equipped in the local goods such as jams, honey or cookies. For buying cognac the best is of course straight from producer. Otherwise, there is a shop called “Cognacteque” on the main square as well which has large variety of choice.