World Famous Cognac a great day out
when staying at our Family Friendly gites
in Charente Maritime, South West France
Cognac is a prosperous town with medieval alleyways that fan out from a delightful riverside quarter.  Here you'll find the largest concentration of chais or
wine cellars where fine brandy or Cognac is matured.  It's not hard to spot these world famous chais as their walls are covered with fungi that thrives on the
alcohol fumes given off during the maturing process.  There are many Cognac houses to visit including Otard or Hennessy Cognac (above) which keeps
180,000 barrels in stock. Here (and in most distilleries) you'll discover the fine art of Cognac making and the secret of blending as all run regular tours
throughout the year and all end with a tasting. There are also plenty of additional sights including the Ancien Chateau - a 15th-16th-century chateau (now
home to Cognac Otard) where the Valois clan lived and where Francois I was born.  The town has some lovely shops and great restaurants too. We
recommend a tour around one  of the houses followed by lunch in the town and then a trip to the Andre Mermet park which has loads of fun things for
children including bouncy castles and a splash pool in peak season.
The André mermet parc is a
great place to treat the kids to
after your visit around one of
the Cognac houses. Theres
even bouncy castles and a
large paddling pool in summer,
so take the swimmers too.
The Hennesey tour is 1hr15 but its
fast Once inside the Chai, you
never stop anywhere longer than 5
minutes. Theres lots to see and
keep even the littlest ones looking
around them.
by the river and right next to
Hennesey, then stroll along the
cobbled streets to the town for
lunch. After the tour, it is just a
short drive to the park where you
can get an ice cream and the
children can let off some steam.  
Take some snacks and a buggy
children can do) they have a
screaming fit, you can easily
things have calmed down. Other
tours have a train or a dungeon
to keep them interested.
Its well worth the risk we