On the peninsula of Avert, about 70 kms south of the coastal town of La Rochelle, is the only distillery still open in the area – Domaine des Claires.

Now boasting a third generation of expertise in the family – Jonathon Guillon, Domaine des Claires have decided to open the doors to public visits.  Mr Guillon is no stranger to the science of the grape – having studied and specialised in Oenology and obtaining his National Diploma.  His studies saw him travel to Peru, where he studied and worked with 12 different grape varieties, before moving to Gascony where he learned the expertise that goes into producing armagnac and floc.

Domaine des Claires

He has now returned to his home town and has joined with his father – Thierry Guillon – in the family distillery business.  Upgrading the family stills to gas in 1991, Domaine des Claires now has a capacity of 20 hectolitres that can distil wines in two months, instead of the four that were necessary when the stills were coal fired – and they don’t need to use sulphides.

Jonathon and Thierry sell only the production of their own vineyards – and, thanks to new planting rights, are planning to sell Cognac VS, VSOP and XO, along with a rose Pineau, merlot rose and colombard white.  Their produce will all be labelled with the easy to recognise emblem of the bird of the marsh – the Egret.

Visiting hours are from 10:00 – 12:30 and 16:00 to 19:00 every day except Sunday.

Source and Pic: www.sudouest.fr

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Andy Homer

    I have a house in La Tremblade (next village) and read about this is the Sud-Ouest paper the day before I left at the start of August. I am back on Friday, so have promised myself a visit. I can also recommend Jean Balluet’s cognacs and pineaus from the village of Neuvicq-le-Château – 100k from La Tremblade including 20k to the north east of the town Cognac. His XO is nectar, just a pain to get to! If the Domaine des Claires get close, I shall be well pleased. I will report back!!

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