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Grande premiere: The Cognac XO from Château de Plassac

Winegrowers’ portraits

Portrait de vignerons Plassac

Grande premiere

The Cognac XO
from Château de Plassac
The Château de Plassac, located in the Two Charentes area, is owned by the family Dampierre for 250 years and nine generations. It is a beautiful domain of 200 ha, surrounded by 4.5km of high ancient walls, dedicated to farming for 90% and for 10% to viticulture.

This pure 18th century Chateau markets every year a white and a rosé Pineau des Charentes, Vins de Pays awarded gold medals by the interprofession, and 150 hectolitres of pure alcohol sold in bulk to some big merchants of Cognac. Count Audoin de Dampierre, retired from Champagne, launches in 2013 with his nephew Henri the marketing of 2,500 bottles of XO Cognacs aged, blended and bottled at the estate. A premiere!

Located on the outskirts of Saint-Genis-de-Saintonge, in the department Charente-Maritime, Château de Plassac is classed historic monument for three centuries. Edifying by its beauty, it is as such open to public during the week (outside and main cellar). Its architect Victor Louis, author of the plans of the Palais Royal in Paris, considered it was the most beautiful 18th century ensemble of the Two Charentes area. Its elegance attracted some remarkable figures, like the Duchess De Berry or the Empress Eugenia, who visited it several times

Le Paradis

According to the account books, the Château de Plassac produces Cognac for two and a half centuries. The vineyard is partially enclosed. Within the walls, 10 hec­tares represent the most beautiful part, and ten others are outside the walls. Planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the Vins de Pays; with Ugni Blanc and Colombard for the Pineaus and the making of the XO and Napoleon Cognacs.

Château de Plassac
17240 Plassac – France
Tél. : +33 (0) 5 46 49 81 85 This Chateau has a 17th-century storehouse with a brick and copper still as well as a charming dressed stone cellar with a gravel floor where the “Paradise” of the Chateau is ageing in new 400-litre emblazoned barrels. Approximately two years before the marketing, the Cellar master operates the final reduction over fifteen months, and then leaves the Cognac to rest in barrels for some more time; the bottling occurring only with order.

Like all families owning an estate, the dynasty of the Counts De Dampierre lived thanks to the local products. The unsold Cognac was kept only for the family's needs. Since sixteen years Audoin was storing it with the idea of offering
one day the Cognac of Château de Plassac for sale. To place it in quality terms, last spring he invited seven brokers who were asked to bring each a bottle of their favourite brand. The idea was to compare in blind the production of Château de Plassac with the important merchants' one.
The labels were hidden and each bottle was given a number. The beautiful bottle of Hennessy and the production of the Château got the full honours. Nevertheless the brokers insistently advised Audoin to give the Château de Plassac's Cognac its respectability by bottling it in carafes. That is how the 2,500 first bottles of Château de Plassac Cognac XO were born, blend of magnificent wines of 1997-98-99, presented in an elegant silk-screened carafe.
The site is worth the trip …

Marie-Caroline Bourrellis