One Day Older

Waking up and a little surprised with clear heads! Christine went off for a ½hr walk along the river

Christine with dogs resting after long walk!

whilst I made the tea. Oh yes I only have one day off a year from making the early morning cuppa which we always enjoy in bed.   After a good night’s sleep it was time to do what we had come here to do, and that was visit one of the Cognac factories..

Decision made we were “up and at ‘em”, had breakfast gave the dogs another run, fed them, settled them in Rosie and then we were off back over the bridge,

The Bridge we walked over, several times

having decided which factory to visit we wanted to see what time the tour takes place.  We had chosen to visit the “Chateau Royal de Cognac” museum and the “Baron Otard”

The Baron Otard Logo

Cognac vaults. 1430hours was the English tour so noted that and walked on into the centre of town.

We were, (well I was) now on a mission to find and buy a bottle of the Cognac we enjoyed the previous night but en-route we visited the indoor market to buy a few provisions then back to “our” quest.  We went to the Wine store we had found the previous afternoon, assuming this was where the waiter had pointed us to and asked if they had what we wanted but unfortunately we couldn’t remember what it was called, we could only describe the shape of the bottle!!!!!  The fellow in the shop was very helpful.

A Typical building in the old town

We explained we had visited a restaurant called “Bistro Claude”.   The previous evening and that is where we had had the Cognac we were looking to buy and without a second thought, he telephoned them to find out; what service eh?

“Serénite” by “Baché Gabrielsen” XO was what we had had but unfortunately he did not stock it.  He did say it was an excellent choice and that is what he would have expected from “Bistro Claude” as apparently that was the best restaurant in Cognac, wow, didn’t we do well!!  He then pointed us on our way to where we may buy some.

Up to the top of the top of the town and after inquiring in a cafe (only to find it was just round the corner from where we were) we arrived at “La Cognatheque”

La Cognatheque (Cognac Shop)

La Cognatheque (Cognac Shop)

A shop that only appeared to stock Cognac ranging in price from €3,200 down to something more acceptable!! Anyway they had what we wanted and after swallowing hard bought one.  We then had a Coffee before winding our way back to Rosie for lunch.

We had a quick lunch, walked the dogs then off to the Chateau

in time for the 1430hrs tour to learn about the grapes and distillation processing and naturally have a tasting, “heck”,

What we all came for

that’s why we are here of course!!!.

The magnificent entrance into "Baron Otard" - Cognac

Apparently the “Baron” Otard bought this ex royal Chateau, (King Francis 1 # was born here {1494 – 1547}) just for its cellars, he knew they were perfect for the ageing process.The ageing process in the cellars that the Baron bought  This was a very interesting tour both historical and more to the point learning more about the Cognac making process.  In the UK we tend to think if we buy a VSOP we had the best of the best, well apparently that is not so as it is all in the grapes they use and where they are in relation to Cognac itself and the time they mature for in Oak barrels, anyway the bottom line is our XO is from the Grand Champagne grapes adjacent to the town whilst VSOP usually comes from grapes outside the immediate area.  XO is also matured many years longer than VSOP, amazing how ones perceptions can be shot down at times.

This Chateau was also a prisoner of war camp during the 7 years war (England V France over Canada) and there are many inscriptions on the walls written by the British prisoners, all well preserved. These prisoners were kept in the great hall.

The Great Hall (POW's Home!

After a super visit to the Chateau and museum and naturally the purchase of another bottle!!!!, we were off back to Rosie for dinner

For those interested in History, this was the French King Henry VIII met in Calais on the famous “Field of Cloth of Gold” 7th June 1520

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