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The Good & Great Cognac Houses - Chateau de Beaulon

Certainly not one of the biggest houses, but this delightful chateau which is situated close to the Gironde has to be one of the prettiest and certainly one of the best, albeit in a part of the Charente not associated with fine cognacs. The firm which is situated at Saint-Dizant-du-Gua sits on a particularly fine strata of chalk which allows the vine roots to penetrate deep.

Beaulon claims to have records dating back to 1712 when references to grape distillation appear but the Chateau is even older dating from 1480 in the reign of King Louis XI, the de Beaulon family moved in, in 1510. Between 1543 and 1574 the estate belonged to François Beaulon counsel to Henry II who of course was married to Eleanor of Aquataine. The history is indeed magnificent.

Tradition is very much part of the splendour of the Chateau for the grape varieties also include Folle Blanche and Colombard for their cognacs, the Folle being the pre-phylloxera variety used extensively before the plague. The estate extends to 90 hectares (220 acres), but some is planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for red Pineau des Charente and  Sémillons and Sauvignon for white Pineau for which the firm has won many awards.

The estate is now owned by Christian Thomas whose green credentials are noted as cognacs most ecological distiller. He uses only fish meal as fertiliser and has recently installed large purification tanks but perhaps most importantly M Thomas is most emphatic that they never use additives of any sort. The firm, has progressed a long way over the centuries and is now regarded as one of the finest producers in Fins Bois. Indeed the small sector of land that this cognac house occupies is hotly contested since ecology of the area is said to be of higher quality than the Borderies to the north of Cognac.

Cognacs for sale by Chateau de Beaulon