Whether you’re a Cognac connoisseur or a total novice, discover the art and science of Cognac production by visiting Hôtel Chais Monnet during the distillation period (October-March). Home to the French city’s largest Cognac bar stocking over 400 Cognac varieties, Hôtel Chais Monnet’s team is on hand to organise private tours, brandy tastings and food and Cognac pairings at some of the city’s 250 local Cognac houses – the perfect way to learn about the production of this tasty tipple.
Cognac is made by twice distilling white wine from the surrounding Charente region, in copper pot stills and ageing it for at least two years in French oak barrels. Hôtel Chais Monnet is located in the former ageing cellars and barrel cooperage of the Monnet Cognac house, which has been lovingly transformed by architect Didier Poignant into the region’s most luxurious hotel. The hotel oozes characterful charm, showcasing the building’s original industrial function, seen most prominently in the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant Les Foudres where tables are surrounded by immense Cognac barrels from the original Cognac cellars.
The hotel’s jazz bar, Le 1838 stocks some of the world’s most loved Cognac brands, such as Rémy Martin and Courvoisier, as well as lesser-known, small-batch Cognacs. The bar staff are experts in their trade and are able to provide in-depth knowledge on Cognac tasting and production, for guests wanting to learn more. Ensuring that guests experience all that Cognac has to offer, guests are encouraged to use the hotel’s Citroen 2CVs or Jaguars to explore the region’s vineyards and local Cognac houses, with winemakers, distillers and the famed maisons de négoces (cognac merchants) open for visits.
During the distillation period, Hôtel Chais Monnet offers guests the chance to discover the vineyards, the distilleries and the ageing cellars at some of the most renowned Cognac producers, such as Hennessy and Otard. For brandy aficionados, bottle your own special house blend at the Martell Cognac house.
Nightly rates from €230 per room, room only. For more information please visit www.chaismonnethotel.com/en/