The harvest is always a nervous time for all those involved in the creation of eaux-de-vie.  It’s a culmination of a year’s hard work, the crossing of fingers that Mother Nature will smile down with generous eyes and that the hope that the grapes will swell and produce a wine that just might become a harvest of exceptional quality.

And never have the nerves of the farmers and cognac houses been so frazzled as they have in 2013.  With a winter that lasted a long, long eight month, and battered much of the region with hail storms, excessive rain and bad weather of every type imaginable, it’s understandable that when the harvesting machines were finally allowed to rest that many cognac producers took the opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief.

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For Maria and Patrick Brillet of Domaine Breuil de Segonzac (wonderful people who we met at dinner at the University de Segonzac earlier in the year), all of the above – and more – has been more than a reality.  However, it’s certainly been a packed year for the Brillet’s, with much to be proud of.

This includes being mentioned in the Top Loire, as well as being recognized by many professionals in the world of wine and included in the ‘Best Wines of France’ guide.

In September they attended the Fete du Pineau a Bruxelles, in Belgium, to promote their Pineau des Charentes to both current and new customers.  Later on in the month they were invited to taste the wines and Pineau of Biocoop Epicea a Soyaux.

And the end of the year is set to be busy for the Brillet’s, with various local events planned.  This includes an open house on December 27, where visitors can discover the wonder of some very old cognacs, as well as enjoying seasonal delicacies such as dried fruits, nuts and chocolate.

Here is a short French video that introduces the estate of Domaine Breuil de Segonzac, and provides an insight into what this traditional cognac house is all about.

Domaine Breuil also offers group visits, and can cater for up to 50 people at a time.  They also partner with various restaurants and caterers to provide a full day out of cognac discovery and entertainment. Find out more about Domaine Breuil de Segonzac.

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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