Today was our Cognac day. The weather was and has been magnificent and the two visits strikingly different. We started at Babinot, owned by the charming Pierrette and

Hennessey, Cognac's largest producer

Christian Babinot, 5th generation owners of a 25000 bottle Cognac producer in the borderies area. This artisanal producer sells half his production to Martell and the rest from the distillery. This is typical for the many small producers; Christian’s friend nearby sells all his production to Hennessey.

What a contrast with our visit to Hennessey, Cognac’s largest producer: over 30 million bottles a year, and they only own vineyards for 2% of their production; the rest they buy from small producers. A polished visit with a video, and a spic and span facility including a short boat ride on the Charante River. Compare that with the cobwebs I had to brush off my hair on Bobinot.

And we had a wonderful lunch at the Moulin de la Baine, a restaurant housed in a former mill on the Charante. Everyone could choose their 4 courses from the menu and here’s what I had: an appetizer plate of smoked trout, foie gras, smoked duck, shrimp, sardines rillettes  and paté; followed by escargot casserole; then frogs’ legs; a cheese selection and nougat glacé for dessert, accompanied by two local still Charante wines. No dinner for me tonight!

Cognac is a 90 minute ride north of Bordeaux and worthy of a side visit if you ever get to Bordeaux.

Brandade: cod fish capuuccino

Hennessey, a huge Cognac producer

Bobinet, small Cognac producer

Author Vin Marottoli

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Frank says:

    Cognac is a wonderful experience. I can highly recommend traveling to France. This is a trip you’ll remember for a long time.

  • LaVera Nagle says:

    Sounds like another of Vin’s wonderful trips. Thanks for the e-mail. Sure wish I was there. lv

  • LaVera Nagle says:

    Thanks for the daily update. Hope to join you again-someday. Hi to all the fellow Wine Lovers. lv

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