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The Charente

  • The Charente Scene - Autumn 2019

    Autumn 2019The Charentais have returned from their holidays confident in the knowledge that last years’ exports of cognac reached record highs.  They are now busy worrying about when they can start the cognac harvest. The weather has been good and the vines have ripened well, the sun is shining and there is every prospect of another good harvest in Autumn 2019. Harvesting machines are at the ready and the grapes have been tested for their pH and sugar content, so what’s stopping them?  Well, for one cognac producer, the discovery of 140 million year old dinosaur bones under the vines of his vineyard near Angeac has resulted in a group of scientists moving in.  It is believed that the bones are from one of the biggest dinosaurs ever found in France and are just a little older than the oldest Hermitage cognac currently available on the market!

  • The Charente Scene - Courvoisier - Summer 2019

    Charente 2019, CourvoisierIt seems that we haven’t got enough variations on the theme of cognac as Courvoisier are extending their range of cask finished cognac drinks. Of course, any cognac which is produced outside the rules established over the last hundred or so years, cannot be called cognac.  However, consumers have come to recognise the big brand labels and happily buy what they believe to be cognac, when it has actually been finished in a cask that has held a different alcoholic beverage. Courvoisier, in their plight to obscure the taste of their cognac, have recently added a bourbon cask finish cognac drink to their sherry cask cognac drink. One wonders how long it will be before we see port finished cognac drinks, sauterne finished cognac drinks and perhaps even a Caribbean rum finish. Do they really need to hide the flavour of their cognac so badly?