Cognac, distiller of pleasure

The Cognac vineyard, Europe's largest white grape vineyard, just 90 minutes from Bordeaux and 2 hours from Paris by TGV train, is internationally renowned for its famous spirit, also known as "the liqueur of the gods". 192 million bottles of cognac are exported each year to more than 160 countries. 

Dégustation de Cognac en couple

Immersive visits given by famous Cognac houses are an essential step in the discovery of this exceptional region with its ancestral know-how and high-end craftsmanship. Cognac, a City of Art and History, also boasts a rich heritage and gastronomy that can be discovered along the river Charente, from Angoulême, the comic strip capital, to Saintes with its countless masterpieces of Romanesque art, to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast.


5 reasons to program Cognac 

1. Cognac excellence : a world-famous expertise

Labelled an “Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée” in 1936 (now protected - or PDO), Cognac is the result of a tradition perpetuated for more than four centuries, with double distillation starting in the 16th century, and a market that developed from the 19th century onwards when the first House Traders were established. To explain the secrets of the production of one of the finest spirits in the world, the great cognac houses open their doors to visitors and offer exclusive and multi-sensory visits. You can also discover the know-how of cognac, from the vine to blending and cooperage, by visiting our vineyards and meeting the men and women who will gladly share their passion with you.

2. Historical heritage and treasures

Cognac, the birthplace of King François I, has a rich history and heritage that goes beyond the eponymous beverage. With its castle, fortresses, museums and 16th and 17th century mansions, the town surprises visitors with its gentle architecture and the evidence of its rich past.

Take a journey back in time, on a stroll through the towns and villages of the surrounding vineyards and discover true treasures of Romanesque art, while following the river Charente, historically used to transport barrels to the Atlantic. Towns steeped in history can be discovered along the way: Cognac, as well as Angoulême (a Unesco creative city), Saintes and its Gallo-Roman amphitheatre, Rochefort and its naval arsenal, Jonzac and La Rochelle...

3. A gastronomic destination with emblematic products

Cognac is a wonderful destination for delicious regional products that symbolise refined yet accessible cuisine: local wines, pineau des Charentes (a fortified wine made from a mixture of grape juice and cognac) which can be enjoyed as an aperitif, on its own or in cocktails, Marennes Oléron oysters, as well as many fish and seafood products, not to mention caviar and truffles. Many famous chefs (Thierry and Julien Verrat in Bourg-Charente, Marc-Antoine Lepage at the 5-star Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa in Cognac...) revisit local products with talent, and the Halles de Cognac houses a local producers’ market which is well worth a visit.

4. High-end accommodation to match the destination

Looking for a timeless place in the old rehabilitated wine cellars with a gastronomic restaurant? An 1870 hotel in the heart of the city with a swimming pool and cocktail bar? An enchanting Relais & Châteaux nestled in a former shipowner's residence with a Michelin-star restaurant? Cognac has a wide range of top-of-the-range accommodation on offer and is full of beautiful addresses for an enchanting stay in the land of the "liquor of the Gods".

  • 5* Chais Monnet : A “Leading hotels of the World “ hotel - A timeless place in the old, rehabilitated cellars in the heart of Cognac - 92 rooms and suites, 13 apartments, a gourmet restaurant and spa.
  • 4* François 1er : On one of the finest squares in the centre of Cognac, this 1870 hotel offers guests 26 rooms and 4 suites, a spa, swimming pool and Le Louise cocktail bar. 
  • Villa Grand-Voile : In La Rochelle, Villa Grand-Voile is located a few steps from Christopher Coutanceau’s starred restaurant. Mr Coutanceau is also the co-owner of la Villa with the sommelier chef, Nicolas Brossard - An enchanting Relais & Châteaux nesteld in a former (1715) shipowner’s residence - 11 rooms and suites.

5. An entire range of activities in splendid settings:

Be it along the coast, from the Gironde estuary to the Marais Poitevin, or between the Charente valley, dotted with charming villages and the Cognac vineyards... the landscapes around Cognac are exceptional and allow for an array of activities in a lovely environment. Whether you are exploring the countryside by bike along the Flow Vélo or on the islands, enjoying water sports, river tourism or playing golf in the middle of a pine forest, facing a historic town, in the vineyards or by the sea... there are many perfect places to practice your favourite sport in a splendid setting! 

Key figures to remember about Cognac


  • By plane

    La Rochelle airport (1h20)

    Bordeaux-Mérignac airport (1h40), with 3 terminals and many international connections   : Paris (1h), Madrid (1h15), London (1h40), Berlin (2h25).


  • By train : 

    Paris Montparnasse - Angoulême : 2h03

    Paris Montparnasse - La Rochelle : 2h03

    TGV Bordeaux - Angoulême : 34min

    TER Bordeaux - La Rochelle : 1h26


  • By car : 

    Cognac 1h40 from Bordeaux and 4h50 from Paris

Tools and resources

XO Madame receptive agency, 82-84, rue Basse de Crouin, 16100 Cognac. 

Cognac Tasting Tour, Chez Rivière, 16130 Saint-Preuil.