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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Oh Cognac

I referred to this part of my trip as the "ack tour" because almost all of the cities and towns in this part of southwest France end in "ac."

And of course, the crown jewel was Cognac. Things were pretty well buttoned up when we were there (some obscure holiday Monday in the dead of winter), but it was fun. Here's Carlo going into the Cognathéque, not to be confused with a discotheque. It was, in fact, a high-end store selling Cognac. We dropped a few Euro there, but their back room was the best ... bottles under lock and key for as much as 9,000€, which is upward of $10,000.

The 11th century must have been a happening time along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. This bastion was built that century, on the left bank of the River Charente not far from Angoulême. About 400 years later, it became the home of King Francois I, and he ruled happily from there for some time.

Not surprisingly, we saw the homes of most major brands — here's Courvoisier in the nearby village of Jarnac, but near the palace in Cognac was Hennessy, and also in the centre ville were Remy Martin, Martell and Camus. I bought a Delamain XO and a sample of very old Fransacs.

I'd been marveling for days at the bizarre way the French trim these trees. Here, in Cognac, I caught the trimmers in the act. We think these are sycamore trees. We also think they trim them this extreme way to keep them from getting too big.

Posted by Mose, 5:33 AM


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