Cognac, France

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Cognac
Cognac stjac.JPG
The Saint-Jacques gate in Cognac
Blason de la ville de Cognac (Charente).svg
Coat of arms
Location of Cognac
Cognac, France
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Cognac
Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region location map.svg
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Cognac
Coordinates: 45°42′N0°20′W / 45.70°N 0.33°W / 45.70; -0.33 Coordinates: 45°42′N0°20′W / 45.70°N 0.33°W / 45.70; -0.33
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Charente
Arrondissement Cognac
Canton Cognac-1 and 2
Government
  Mayor (20082014) Michel Gourinchas
Area
1
15.5 km2 (6.0 sq mi)
Population
 (2017-01-01) [1]
18,825
  Density1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
16102 /16100
Elevation5–53 m (16–174 ft)
(avg. 27 m or 89 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Cognac (French:  [kɔɲak] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ), Occitan:Conhac) is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.

Contents

Geography

Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right bank area known as the Saint Jacques district. The town is situated on one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and is home to the French Air Force training base 709. Cognac is 400 kilometers (250 mi) southwest of Paris.

Climate

Climate data for Cognac, France (1981–2010 averages)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)18.4
(65.1)
22.5
(72.5)
26.2
(79.2)
31.0
(87.8)
34.0
(93.2)
38.2
(100.8)
40.1
(104.2)
39.6
(103.3)
36.4
(97.5)
30.6
(87.1)
24.7
(76.5)
20.5
(68.9)
40.1
(104.2)
Average high °C (°F)9.4
(48.9)
11.0
(51.8)
14.4
(57.9)
16.9
(62.4)
20.8
(69.4)
24.3
(75.7)
26.8
(80.2)
26.7
(80.1)
23.5
(74.3)
18.9
(66.0)
13.0
(55.4)
9.8
(49.6)
18.0
(64.4)
Average low °C (°F)2.8
(37.0)
2.8
(37.0)
4.9
(40.8)
6.9
(44.4)
10.6
(51.1)
13.6
(56.5)
15.3
(59.5)
15.0
(59.0)
12.3
(54.1)
9.8
(49.6)
5.5
(41.9)
3.3
(37.9)
8.6
(47.5)
Record low °C (°F)−17.5
(0.5)
−19.4
(−2.9)
−10.2
(13.6)
−2.9
(26.8)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.0
(37.4)
6.4
(43.5)
5.5
(41.9)
2.2
(36.0)
−3.8
(25.2)
−8.4
(16.9)
−14.5
(5.9)
−19.4
(−2.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches)71.9
(2.83)
52.0
(2.05)
57.7
(2.27)
71.0
(2.80)
65.1
(2.56)
52.3
(2.06)
48.2
(1.90)
47.3
(1.86)
59.8
(2.35)
81.2
(3.20)
86.3
(3.40)
84.3
(3.32)
777.1
(30.59)
Average precipitation days11.79.210.111.310.77.57.06.68.011.411.711.9117.0
Average relative humidity (%)87827674757269727683878878
Mean monthly sunshine hours 83.0111.9162.4180.5215.9238.4249.9244.8199.2137.391.281.41,995.9
Source 1: Meteo France [2] [3]
Source 2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, 1961–1990) [4]

History

Unknown prior to the 9th century, the town was subsequently fortified. During the Hundred Years' War, the town changed sides on several occasions as the result of fighting and treaties in the region.

The town gave its name to the 1526 League of Cognac, an anti-Habsburg alliance formed by Francis I, who granted it the lucrative right to trade salt along the river, which led to its later development as a center of wine and brandy. [5]

In November 1651, it was besieged by rebels led by Prince de Condé during the 1648-1653 civil war or "Fronde"; it was relieved in December by a force under Comte d' Harcourt and given additional trading privileges by Louis XIV as a reward for its resistance. [6]

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
17932,846    
18002,827−0.7%
18063,134+10.9%
18212,947−6.0%
18313,409+15.7%
18414,118+20.8%
18464,947+20.1%
18515,835+18.0%
18567,085+21.4%
18618,167+15.3%
18669,412+15.2%
187213,677+45.3%
187614,900+8.9%
188114,087−5.5%
188615,200+7.9%
189117,392+14.4%
189620,228+16.3%
190119,483−3.7%
190619,469−0.1%
191119,188−1.4%
192118,876−1.6%
192617,452−7.5%
193117,404−0.3%
193616,305−6.3%
194617,479+7.2%
195419,026+8.9%
196220,798+9.3%
196822,062+6.1%
197522,237+0.8%
198220,660−7.1%
199019,528−5.5%
199919,525−0.0%
200819,066−2.4%

The inhabitants of the town are known as Cognaçais.

Landmarks

The area also contains many Romanesque churches as well as several châteaux.

Cognac brandy

The town gives its name to one of the world's best-known types of brandy or eau de vie. Drinks must be made in certain areas around the town of Cognac and must be made according to strictly defined regulations to be granted the name Cognac.

Cognac is a unique spirit in that it is double-distilled. This process can be viewed in one of the many "Grande Marque" Cognac houses which all have visitor centers. Most central in the town are Hennessy, Martell, Otard, Camus and Remy Martin. About 15 km (9 mi) east of Cognac is Jarnac, home to Courvoisier.

There are six vineyard areas around the Cognac area, all of which are within the Appellation Controlee for Cognac, but which are considered to vary in quality from the best growth area of "Grande Champagne" (nothing to do with the Champagne wine region in NE France), through "Petite Champagne" then "Borderies", "Fins Bois", "Bon Bois" and finally "Bois Ordinaire". The best Cognacs are generally only made using Grande and Petite Champagne grapes, but all Cognac is produced by blending a variety of eau de vie which can be made from grapes from different locations, and from different vintages. It is the cellar master's skill that ensures that a brand's Cognac is recognizable regardless of when it is produced since he can blend multiple eaux de vie to achieve the right taste for his house.

Different qualities of Cognac are produced by all brands, and include VS ("Very Special"); VSOP ("Very Superior [or, more commonly, "Special", though the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac specifies "Superior"] Old Pale") and XO ("eXtra Old"). (English terms are still used, since in the early days of Cognac production it was the British and Irish who were the main consumers and also became some of the main producers of Cognac, using techniques acquired from the distillation of whiskey, etc.) These are controlled by the length of time the Cognac is allowed to mature in oak barrels, a minimum time being required at each grade level. The longer the Cognac matures in the barrel the smoother it will generally become. Once it is bottled no further development takes place. Most houses still have barrels of Cognac dating back to the 19th century sitting in their cellars waiting for fine blending by the Cellar Master.

Notable people

Sport

Twin towns—sister cities

Cognac is twinned with: [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Aisne Department of France

Aisne is a French department in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France. It is named after the river Aisne.

Cognac Alcoholic beverage; variety of brandy

Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the commune of Cognac, France. It is produced in the surrounding wine-growing region in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime.

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a French brand of liqueurs. The brand's best-known product is Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, an orange-flavored liqueur created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It is made from a blend of Cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is 40% alcohol.

Courvoisier

Courvoisier is a brand of cognac owned by Beam Suntory, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. The production is based in the town of Jarnac in the Charente region of France.

Martell (cognac) Brand of cognac

Martell is a Cognac house founded in 1715 by Jean Martell (1694–1753). It is part of the Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët subsidiary of the French wines and spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard.

Grande Champagne

Grande Champagne is a French district, called a cru, known for its cognac. It produces the finest cognacs in a zone of 34703 hectares, of which 17% is dedicated to production of cognac. At its heart is the town of Segonzac, in the Département of Charente. Grande Champagne is situated entirely in this département.

Armagnac

Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. It is distilled from wine usually made from a blend of grapes including Baco 22A, Colombard, Folle blanche and Ugni blanc, traditionally using column stills rather than the pot stills used in the production of cognac, which is made only from ugni blanc grapes. The resulting spirit is then aged in oak barrels before release. Production is overseen by the Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INAO) and the Bureau National Interprofessionel de l'Armagnac (BNIA).

Rémy Martin French firm that primarily produces and sells cognac

Rémy Martin is a French firm that primarily produces and sells cognac. Founded in 1724 and based in the commune of Cognac, it is one of the biggest cognac producers and is also part of the Comité Colbert, an association "to promote the concept of luxury". The brand specialises in Cognac Fine Champagne.

Pineau des Charentes

Pineau des Charentes, is a regional aperitif of western France, made in the départements of Charente, Charente-Maritime, and Dordogne. While popular within its region of production, it is less well known in other regions of France and somewhat uncommon abroad.

Petite Champagne

Petite Champagne is a geographic zone of Cognac production of approximately 66,000 hectares, of which about 15,000 are dedicated to wines destined for cognac. It is situated in the départements of Charente and Charente-Maritime. The principal towns of the region are Barbezieux (Charente), Archiac and Jonzac (Charente-Maritime). In order of importance among the cognac crus (regions), Petite Champagne is second in place after Grande Champagne. While having similar characteristics, the cognacs of Petite Champagne have always been considered of a lesser quality than those of Grande Champagne. Geologically, this region is composed of a thinner layer of Calcareous material than Grande Champagne. A blend of Grande and Petite Champagne Cognacs, with at least half the eaux-de-vie coming from Grande Champagne, is known as Fine Champagne.

Fins Bois is a wine producing sub-region within the Cognac appellation, geographically surrounding the sub-regions of Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Borderies, and which falls within both the Charente and Charente-Maritime departments in South-West France, just north of Bordeaux.

Louis XIII (cognac)

Louis XIII is a cognac produced by Rémy Martin, a company headquartered in Cognac, France, and owned by the Rémy Cointreau Group. The name was chosen as a tribute to King Louis XIII of France, the reigning monarch when the Rémy Martin family settled in the Cognac region. He was the first monarch to recognize cognac as a category in its own right in the world of eaux-de-vie.

Ambleville, Charente Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Ambleville is a commune in the Charente department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.

Angeac-Champagne Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Angeac-Champagne is a commune in the Charente department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.

Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France.

Fine Champagne

Fine Champagne is a cognac blend of eau-de-vie from the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne crus or growing areas. It is recognized as an appellation of origin related to the six crus of Cognac, but Fine Champagne is not a cru itself. Among the major cognac houses, Rémy Martin is a specialist in this type of production, while other houses such as Braastad, De Luze, Hine and Tiffon all produce and sell Fine Champagne cognacs.

Otard, is a French cognac house founded in 1795 by Jean-Baptiste Antoine Otard. It was founded at the Château de Cognac, and is also sold under the name Château Royal de Cognac. Baron Otard Cognac owned by the Otard family until it was bought by the Italian company Martini & Rossi S.p.A. in 1991. Today, Baron Otard Cognac is a subsidiary of the Bacardi group.

Château de Cognac

Château de Cognac, also known as Château de Valois and Château François, is a castle in Cognac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The castle has been rebuilt many times over the centuries.

Monnet Cognac

Monnet, also J.-G. Monnet is a brand of cognac associated with the Monnet family. The latter's most famous member, Jean Monnet, worked for the family firm in his youth before the outbreak of World War I, and again briefly in the mid-1920s after resigning from the League of Nations in December 1923. Throughout his life he often made references to the formative role of the cognac industry, which involves patience and addresses a global clientele, in shaping his beliefs and world view.

References

  1. "Populations légales 2017". INSEE . Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  2. "Données climatiques de la station de Cognac" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  3. "Climat Poitou-Charentes" (in French). Meteo France. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  4. "Normes et records 1961-1990: Cognac-Châteaubernard (16) - altitude 30m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  5. Rikard, J. "Second Hapsburg-Valois War or War of the League of Cognac (1526-30)". History of War. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  6. Kenny, Peter Francis (2016). Heroes, Villains, and Conflicts. Xlibris. ISBN   978-1514443781 . Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-05-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Archived November 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Les jumelages". ville-cognac.fr (in French). Cognac. Retrieved 2019-11-13.