Located in Bors-de-Montmoreau, the Chateau des Plassons was built by a preacher in the 1500s. The decades saw many changes, with the chateau being passed to Nicolas Raymond, and then to Antoine Brides. This succession continued, as they do, until a mysterious owner ended up selling the chateau into the Hennessy family. Somewhat surprisingly, Hennessy sold it again, and it was in 2008 that the Pannaud brothers appeared – as if from nowhere – to purchase and take over the Chateau and its surrounding vineyards.
The brothers Pannaud did not start out life as cognac producers. However, the passion for winemaking was in their blood, as both their father and grandfather before them were wine growers and distillers. They gave up their jobs (David was a history teacher and Julien worked in pharmaceuticals) and entered into negotiation to purchase the Chateau des Plassons. This took about six months, and in 2008 they became the proud owners of the 30 hectare site.
Work commenced in restoring the chateau – repairing and replacing machinery, mending the roof of the distillery and learning the skills of using the 1922 alembic pot stills that they are adamant remain in use. However, in a bow towards modern technology, they have had a new alembic still installed, which more than doubles the capacity of the two older ones – not to mention works automatically, as opposed to the old ones that are run by hand. The brothers have worked hard to raise brand awareness of Cognac Chateau des Plassons. They now export to Canada, the U.S. and Belgium, and have their eyes set on entering the Chinese market.
Currently, a large proportion of the eaux-de-vie produced by Cognac Chateau des Plassons is sold under contract to one of the large cognac houses. It is the aim of the Pannaud brothers to become fully independent, and use their total stocks to produce and sell all of their cognac under their own label.
Although small, Chateau des Plassons Cognac produces a full range of cognacs, from the Chateau des Plassons VS Cognac through to the Chateau des Plassons XO Cognac. Prices start at around €20 euros per bottle for the VS.
Chateau des Plassons Cognac also produce a Pineau des Charentes.