Weekend Getaway: Cognac (Part 1)

Last week I had the chance to visit Cognac, a lovely city in the West part of France where they produce this world know brandy named after the city itself; Cognac. In this post I will share with you the places I visited, the restaurant I tried and the activities I discovered!

First to first lets learn a little bit of Cognac.

Cognac is a city situated on the Charente River, it has approximately 20K people, and is partly fortified. Cognac is mostly known for the brandy they produce there, they have an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), this means that in order to call a brandy Cognac it has to be produced in this region.

We are going to begin the weekend by a walk thought the Cognac vines, I was lucky it was before the harvest and all the grapes were still hanging from the vines.

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Visit of Giboin manufacture

After the walk through the vines I visited a Cognac producer, Giboin; which still produces in the old fashion way one of the best Cognacs in the region. The owner made us visit the distillation room,  storage room and the place were they bottle and add the sticker. It is a family business, the wife and son work with the father and together they get the job done. During my visit I learned the types of Cognac:

  • V.S.- Very Special or Very Superior, it has to be stored at least two years in cask
  • V.S.O.P.- Very Special Old Pale, it has to be stored at least four years in a cask, but the average wood age is larger
  • X.O.- Extra Old, stored at least 6 years, however it is usually more than 20years

I also tried their Pineau, which is a local aperitif made of grape juice and Cognac, it is sweet and not very strong (at least not as strong as Cognac). It was a total discovery for me! It is delicious! They have white and red Pineau, both very tasty and original. Must TRY!

Here is the webpage of the Giboin House

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 Restaurant La Ribaudière

After a long day visiting beautiful places, the city center and the Cognac manufactures, I had dinner at La Ribaudière. Totally recommended, this restaurant is really really good! However, make sure you are hungry before going there because everything is delicious!

I had a simple menu in which I had several choices of starter, main course and dessert. There is also other menus with the option of 2 starters and cheese plate; it depends on how hungry you are!

My menu was:

Le gaspacho de petits pois « wasabi », émulsion de chèvre frais,
dominos de truite de Gensac

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Le dos de cabillaud vapeur, poutargue, poireaux grillés,
jus iodé, riz comme un sushi

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Lingot de chocolat

Everything was amazing!!! The service was really good.  Their wine list is huge and has very very good wines, if you are not sure of your choice, there is a sommelier that can help you choose the best for you. If you want to go to La Ribaudière you have to reserve in advance, so do not hesitate to call before ( +33 05 45 81 30 54). I hope you like it! Webpage

I will continue with my amazing weekend in a future post…

 

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