Cognac - the town and all the lovely distilleries is 2 hours away from us and perfectly doable on a long day trip. Dave and I had been there before and took a tour of Remy Martin but mum hadn't ever been - so we arranged a trip to Otard Cognac house.
Its a really old distillery that has been in business since 1795 when Baptise Antoine Otard bought the old Cognac Chateau and set up his business there. You can see black mould all over the walls on the rooms where the barrels age the Cognac.
|Image curtsey of Google|
The black mould on the walls is caused by a fungus that thrives and lives on the fumes created by the Eau de Vie leaching out of the barrels during the process of making Cognac. About 20% of the Eau de vie that goes into the barrels is lost during the process of making the Cognac, this is called 'The angels share' Eau de Vie is a colourless drink made from distilled wine it usually takes on the flavour of the wine that makes it. It is lovely on its own (if a little strong!) but it is also used as the base for making Cognac and Brandies. Click here for more info on Eau de Vie Otard sits on the edge of the river Charante and its cellars are below ground making them a even temperature all year round (about 13 oc) and quite humid. As you descend into the cellars the smell of Eau de vie hits you due to the Angels share in the air. No photos are allowed as they worry about explosions due to the high amount of ethanol in the air! For more information on the House of Otard look here https://www.cognac-expert.com/cognac-brands/otard-cognac
This is the crest of King Francois 1er of France
|These carving depict the boats and sailors that used to bring in the eau de vie |
and take out the Cognac. Early graffiti..
I'd have loved to have bought a bottle of the Cognac, but it's a little out of our reach this month. Maybe next time.
Mind you next time we may go to Hennessey as they are just down the road from Otard.
All these photo's were taken by mum as my camera had died, cheers mum for letting me use them.