Charente

The Charente Department is located in the South-West of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and ows its name to its main river, the Charente. The area is characterised by an oceanic climate, with cool temperatures and aboundant rainfalls. In winter, frosty and snowy days are far from a rarity. The lands that make up the Charente limousine are clayey and waterproof, known as terres froides (cold lands), while the lands to the west, on both sides of the Charente Valley, called terres chaudes (warm lands) are of a limestone nature and conducive to the cultivation of the vine. Also situated on the river Charente, between Angoulême and Saintes, is the town of Cognac, which gives its name to the famous brandy.

King Francis I (1494 – 1547) granted the town the right to trade in salt along the river and soon it deveolped a strong commercial success, which led it to become a centre of wine – and later brandy – making. Since 1930 the Cognac area grapes are divided into 6 main Cru (quality degrees) and the Cognac vineyard, which is considered the largest white-grape vineyard in Europe, extends over nearly 75 000 hectares of land.

Areas

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