cognac blues passionThe town of Cognac (16 Charente, Nouvelle Aquitaine ) becomes an even more attractive place to visit in July with

  • the Cognac Blues Passions Festival 2 – 6 July 2024.
  • The Fete du Cognac 25 – 27 July 2024

Blues Passions Festival

With more than 120 concerts, 80 of which are free, the range of music on offer is vast -previous years have included Status Quo to Joan Baez and most music styles in between which an emphasis on Afro-American music. In 2016 artists appearing included Marianne Faithful and The Cranberries.

For more info on the Cognac Blues Festival see
The big Cognac houses (Martell, Remy-Martin, Hennesy) all have well-organised trips around their distilleries and tastings of their brandies. However, these are inevitably a bit “touristy” – there are plenty of smaller, family-run estates which also welcome visitors and provide a rather more individualised welcome.

Fete du Cognac

Fete du Cognac logo

The town celebrates its iconic brandy with opportunities to taste not only Cognac but other local produce such as Pineau des Charentes and Charentes oysters, especially on the quayside – see

Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes.It gives its name to one of the world’s best-known types of brandy or eau de vie. The spirit must be made in certain areas around Cognac and must be made according to strictly-defined regulations.

Cognac is a unique spirit in that it is double-distilled. This process can be viewed in one of the many “Grande Marque” Cognac houses which all have visitor centres, e.g.Hennessy, Martell, Otard, Camus and Remy Martin.

There are six vineyard areas around the Cognac area, all of which are within the Appellation Controlee for Cognac, but which are considered to vary in quality from the best growth area of “Grande Champagne” (nothing to do with the Champagne wine region in NE France), through “Petite Champagne” then “Borderies“, “Fins Bois“, “Bon Bois” and finally “Bois Ordinaire“. The best Cognacs are generally only made using Grande and Petite Champagne grapes, but all Cognac is produced by blending a variety of “Eau de Vie” which can be made from grapes from different locations, and from different vintages. Variations in quality can be controlled by the length of time the Cognac is allowed to mature in oak barrels, a minimum time being required at each grade level.

Find holiday accommodation in and around Cognac – B&Bs. hotels and self-catering

TGVBy Train/TGV via Saintes with Rail Europe

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