History of Cognac, history of Pineau des Charentes, Pelletant family, producer of Cognac and Pineau des Charentes since 1920
Cognac and Pineau Pelletant, Le Vignoble de la Chevalerie
 
distillation
 
vignoble Pelletant
 
cognac Pelletant
 
cave Pelletant
 
pineau Pelletant
 
famille Pelletant
 
domaine Pelletant

Cognac History

From a quality vineyard, shipped to Northern Europe, the wines from Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois became, in the 13th century, English, Dutch and Scandinavian people’s delight. Since the 17th century, our wines have been transformed into eau-de-vie which aged in oak barrels to become Cognac. This was the beginning of the story of a city that would become the capital of a world-class trade.

Wines from Aunis and Saintonge were already known outside France in the Middle-Age though. Indeed, Dutch people used to ship wine from Charentes in order to distill it and turn it into a burnt wine known as “brandy”. As it would often spoil during the crossing, the Dutch turned up with the idea of distilling it on site, thus introducing the still in Charentes in the 16th century. It is since then that Cognac has developed its reputation over time.

The most famous French eau-de-vie received its AOC (‘certification’) on 1 May 1909. A decree then defined the region of Cognac production which sprawls over the two departments Charentes. It is divided into six wine areas, concentrically located around Cognac:

  • Grande Champagne
  • Petite Champagne
  • Borderies
  • Fins Bois
  • Bons Bois
  • Bois Ordinaires

Three different grapes are used to produce Cognac: Ugni Blanc (98% of the production), Folle Blanche and Colombard. It is distilled twice in a copper still. The distillate -also called coeur de chauffe- is aged in oak barrels. In most cases, Cognac is the result of a combination of eaux-de-vie. So to get a quality Cognac, you certainly need an experience winemaker’s know-how as well as the right distillation time.

Unlike the vintage, which contains distilled eaux-de-vie that are of the same year of age, the combination technique “marries” Cognacs of different years of age. Hence, a small amount of an old Cognac can bring roundness and depth to younger ones.
The PELLETANT family follows this tradition.

Pineau des Charentes History

Pineau des Charentes is a unique combination of grapes must and young Cognac. It blends the sweetness of the first one with the ardor of the latter to end up with a tasty product. Pineau des Charentes history is worth telling…

In 1589, a Burie producer, settled between Saintes and Cognac, stored his must in a barrel for fermentation and forgot that a bit of alcohol was left in this barrel. A few years later, an abundant harvest required the use of all available containers, including the said barrel. The mix turned out to be amazing and the dizzy producer’s name -Pineau- remained.

The name’s story is a perfect description of Pineau des Charentes… an improbable mix of grape juice and Cognac. This beautiful alliance requires some time to blend: 18 months aging according to legislation. This is what gives Pineau all its flavour. It has to be aged in oak barrels for 5 years minimum to be labelled “old” and for 10 years minimum to be labelled “extra old”. Pineau belongs to the “mistelles” wine category. This name finds its origin in the Italian word “misto”, meaning mixture.

The Pelletant family

Since 1920, Pelletant Vineyards, located in Saint-Amant de Nouère, distill wines following the authentic tradition of Charentes. The wines are selected from noble grape varieties in our best parcels, located in the heart of Fins Bois.

Established in the Cognac industry since four generations, we take great care in producing Cognac aged in our cellars. We have started producing Pineau des Charentes in 1979 and since 1981, we have been introducing our products in various trade fairs around France.

Heritage History

Nestled in the heart of a typical village, this former farmhouse was built during the late 18th century. The years 1850-1870 were a prosperous period of time but thereafter, the phylloxera crisis ended the building of wineries.

This vineyard of Charente’s imposing carved stone gate makes it recognizable. It has a wide door which used to allow carriages and carts to come through. Pilasters with vertical lines hold Doric styled capitals supporting an entablature. On the door side, a wheel guard used to prevent the carts wheels from bumping into the walls.

Once you’ve passed the entrance gate, you’ll be able to see the house and its dependencies. The domain walls are made of rough stone and the farm buildings (winery, distellery) are set around an inner courtyard.

The house, made of stone and exposed East, was renovated with the utmost respect for tradition. The front door opens onto a vestibule which leads to some rooms on both sides. The first floor is organized the same way. The four-section-roof has a gentle slope and is covered with roman tiles. You can access the indoor garden through a second wrought-iron gate.

   
Cognac & Pineau Pelletant | Route de la Vigerie | La Chevalerie | 16170 St Amant de Nouère | +33 (0)5 45 96 88 53 | email | www.cognac-pineau-pelletant.com
   
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