Do you want to visit some Cognac houses? We made a small summary of te most known Cognac houses and their tours.
CAMUS : a family business
Camus is a international brand of Cognac that has been produced by five generations of the Camus family since 1863. The family has always controlled every stage of the cognac making process from the soil and the grape to the finished blend and the bottle, ensuring that every CAMUS cognac is marked by the personality of the family and the floral character of the Borderies, the smallest and rarest cognac growing area where CAMUS‚ vineyards are located. The fifth generation of the Camus family, led by Cyril Camus, is driven by the evolution of consumer expectations and their effect on the cognac business. He focuses on adapting the company and its range of products to this new environment, emphasising the distinctive CAMUS taste and packaging. Although resolutely forward-thinking, Cyril Camus today remains passionately faithful to the values inherited from previous generations of his family : tradition, quality, independence and innovation.
* Camus Elegance of blended cognacs, * Camus Ile de Ré Fine Island Cognacs, born of the aptly named Bois à Terroirs vineyards on the Ile de Ré, reveal a world of unexpected aromas and flavours bestowed by their insular environment. * Camus Borderies XO, a blend of 100% Borderies cognacs, drawn entirely from the private stocks of the Camus family. * Rarissimes by Camus, a collection of exceptional vintage cognacs.
Camus has just revamped their tour. Created in 2005, this very personal and attractive tour welcomes visitors from all around the world to discover cognac from the point of view ’Cognac, but different’.
Schedules For information and bookings +33(0)22.214.171.124.96 ou firstname.lastname@example.org
HENNESSY : a work of art
The Hennessy museum is the most recent, the most ambitious and the most modern of all the Cognac houses. Entirely rebuilt according to the plans of the famous architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, The “quais Hennessy” project is a majestic contemporary building that blends harmoniously with a 19th century hotel. The building is made only of materials that are used in the making of Cognac : limestone, copper, wood and glass. It harbours a wonderfully rich museum on Cognac and uses many modern techniques such as multiprojection. It provides a wealth of educationally acurate technical information : an 8 meter wide map of the vintage regions, a reconstitution of the evolution of the vine throughout the four seasons, visit inside a pot-still, visit of ageing cellars (boat crossing of the Charente river), etc. The museum covers, of course, the history of the Hennessy house, world leader in sales of Cognac, but also has a cultural calling. It hosts an international exhibition every year. In 1996, inaugural year of the museum, the exhibition was devoted to Ireland, land of the founder of Hennessy Cognac.
Schedules From 1 November till 31 December, From Monday till Friday (except bank holidays). From 1 April till 31 October, 7 days/week plus bank holidays (except 1 May). Closed from 1 January till 31 March (it is however possible to make an appointment Monday till Friday from 10 till 12am and from 2pm till ’pm). Rue de la Richonne, 16100 Cognac. Tel : 05 45 35 72 68. Fax : 05 45 82 49 01.
MARTELL : The “gabare-trip” down memory lane
Martell offers a gigantic step back in time with a “gabare” (Charentais boat) built to the image of those used to transport Cognac to the sea during the 18th century. The gabare was built recently by a local shipyard. You are then taken through the traditional steps in the elaboration of Cognac (from the ageing cellars to the bottling plant) before entering the private home of the founder, Jean Martell, which he acquired in 1750 : The kitchen with the table set, his office, the sitting room as if nothing had moved in 247 years….
Schedules July and August everyday from Monday till Friday, from 9.30am till 5.15pm non-stop. From 10am till 4.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays June and September : from Monday till Friday (except bank holidays), from 9.30am till 11am and from 1.30pm till 5.15pm. October and May : from Monday till Thursday from 9.30am till 11am and from 2.30pm till 5.15pm plus Friday morning from 9.30 till 11am (except bank holidays). Place Edouard Martell, 16100 Cognac. Tel : 05 45 36 33 33 service accueil.
OTARD : Cognac from the Castle
The Castle where François 1er was born in 1494 stands on the banks of the Charente. You will begin the visit in the Renaissance wing and discover the life of François 1er by means of a short video tour. The second part of the visit is more technical as it is devoted to the making of Cognac. You will learn that Otard does not own any vines, instead it buys, assembles and ages the spirits in the 19th century Otard wing.
Schedules From 1 April till 31 October, visits with medieval costumes everyday including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays (except 1 May). From 1 November till 31 december : visits everyday except Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. 127 bd Denfert-Rochereau, 16100 Cognac. Tel : 05 45 36 88 86. Fax : 05 45 36 88 87 email@example.com / www.otard.com
PRINCE DE POLIGNAC : honour to the coopers
Here, you will not find cellar walls blackened by evaporation. The Prince Hubert de Polignac house is not very old but their coat of arms is one of the oldest in France. A video will take you through this chapter as well as that of the elaboration of Cognac. You will then be lead through the cooperage museum, the ageing cellars and the bottling plant. The cooperage museum exposes some rare objects from the 19th century such as copper taps, a 2,000 litre cask, craftsmen’s decorative signatures but also a collection of tools that belonged to coopers.
Schedules From 1 April till 30 June and from 16 till 30 September (except Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays) from 10am till 12am and from 2pm till 6pm. Visits for groups only. From 1 July till 15 September, everyday including Sundays and bank holidays : 10am, 11am, 14pm, 15pm, 16pm, 17pm. Le Laubaret (exit Cognac, direction Angoulême. Then D49, Gensac la Pallue. Follow road signs for Polignac-Reynac. Tel : 05 45 32 13 85. Fax : 05 45 82 83 04.
REMY MARTIN : a trip through the vineyard
A mysterious voice announces a voyage into the secrets of the Gods of Cognac. This is how you begin the visit on board the Remy Martin train in Merpins, about 4 km from the main offices. After a visit through the biggest cooperage plant in Europe, you enter the ageing cellars. The train then leaves the darkness and takes you outdoors into nature : through a vineyard, a plantation of maple trees, beautiful flower-beds…
Schedules From April till October, from Monday till Saturday (including bank holidays), and Sundays from 15 June till 15 September, from 9.45am till 11.15am and from 1.30pm till 5.15pm. From 1 July till the 15 September : visits non-stop from 10am till 5.30pm. Entrance charge except for children under 18 years of age Domaine de Merpins, route de Pons, D732. Tel : 05 45 35 76 66. Fax : 45 35 77 98.