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The Charente Scene - Winter 2014

Never has the weather in an area been more important than it is in the Charente and once again the unexpected has happened with temperatures in the high teens. Indeed growth has already started to show on many of the vines before all of them have been cut back. One surprised cognac merchant reported seeing butterflies in his garden! Of course a cold spell is hoped for as this often kills off the bugs before they can do any damage. The official figure from the BNIC for cognac production last year is 13hl/hectare of pure spirit but most producers appear to be of the opinion that we will be lucky to get 10hl/hectare. Indeed that which we know about so far is quite light.  It appears to lack any real body, is relatively poor quality and probably more suited for the younger cognacs than for ageing. At Chez Richon it seems likely that we may have done slightly better than average; we’re keeping our fingers crossed!