A change from my normal life in the Charente -
Today I thought that I would tell you about one of the drinks which is famous in the region of Charente. It is really delicious, and although it can be bought in supermarkets and bottle stores, we have quite a good collection of 'home made' which we have been given by our very generous neighbours.
The following information is credited to:-
PINEAU DES CHARENTES – yesterday and today.
Viticulture in the Charentes region of France dates back to Roman times. The first vineyards were planted in the Saintonge, and later spread southwards to the Aunis and Angoulême regions. The town of Cognac and the many ports along the Charente river became centres of the local wine trade.
Although nobody knows exactly how Pineau des Charentes came into being, legend has it that this was due to a fortuitous accident.
In 1589 – the year of Henri IV’s coronation – a winegrower is said to have mistakenly poured grape must into a barrel of Cognac.
A few years later, when he needed to use the barrel for a particularly large crop, he discovered a pure, marvellous new drink.
Pineau des Charentes was born.
For over four centuries, the winegrowers who make Pineau des Charentes have maintained high standards for this unique product.
For a long time, Pineau des Charentes was something of a secret, with bottles hidden away to drink only at weddings and other important family occasions.
Today, this fantastic drink is renowned the world over, and has become France’s foremost appellation contrôlée sweet fortified wine.
For further information see the link above.
Picture Credit http://www.cognac-larsen.fr/ci/images/pineau_charentes.jpg