After my exploration of Cognac I was headed in the direction of home when I saw signs for a Pineau des Charentes makers. The whole area is full of independent makers of Pineau, just as you can find independent wineries in wine country. I was going around a round about when I saw a sign for such a place and took off in the direction of the sign. Sometimes I would think about turning around but then I would see another one of their signs and kept going, first through vineyard after vineyard, the source of cognac and pineau. Pineau, in case you missed it, is a rather sweet aperitif of wine mixed with cognac which is really nice before a meal. Then I entered a really beautiful forest, all the while going up and down gentle hills and around curves. I finally reached my destination.
The sign on their entrance. I walked through the gate and got scared to death when a German Shepherd starting wildly barking. Thank goodness it was behind a fence. The dog served as a kind of door bell as a lady came out of the house. here is a link to their website: Grateaud
This house to be exact. A lady came out. I think I may have interrupted her lunch as it was 1:30 but she was polite enough. She told me that her husband and his family had been in this business for six generations.
I tasted a couple of types of pineau and ended up buying two, one made with white wine, the other with rose. I bought two glasses too with the name of the company on them.
I also tried the cognac with Napoleon’s name on it-I guess he was a fan-but it is just too strong for me.
I like this poster advertising Pineau as an aperitif.
Next to the property was a field of sunflowers, most of them brown and dead. I don’t know if they just die early around here or if there was a virus or if it wasn’t hot enough or too much rain, but every field I passed was brown.
Big heavy sunflower head.