History of Roffignac Cognac
It was in the year 1610 century that Charles Roch Chesnel inherited some land close to the city of Cognac, not far from the banks of the River Charente. It was during this time that the region was beginning to develop trade for salt, wine and the brandy, which we now know as cognac.
Chateau Chesnel, surrounded by its own vineyards, soon developed into a wine and eaux-de-vie distillery. Through marriage the chateau came to be owned by the military man Louis Guillouet, the Count of Orvelliers, a man who served under King Louis XVI. Serving under the same head of state, René-Annibal de Roffignac became closely associated with Chateau Chesnel through marriage. It was he who offered to be beheaded during the French Revolution, in place of his King.
René-Annibal de Roffignac’s son, Louis-Philippe-Joseph de Roffignac was sent to the US city of New Orleans, where he eventually became Mayor. Another of his notable achievements there was to create the ‘Cocktail Roffignac,’ – a drink based on cognac. This played a very pivotal role in the demand for cognac in the US, and soon cognac was being exported in bottles as opposed to oak casks.
In the late 1800s Count Ferdinand de Roffignac took over the running of Chateau Chesnel, and in the year 1923 he established the brand Cognac Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac. It was from then on that the house’s cognacs were not only aged and distilled on site, but also sold directly to the consumer under the Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac name. In 1973 he handed the reins over to his son, Count Renaud de Roffignac, who is in charge of the cognac house to this day.
Cognac Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac Today
Today, Cognac Roffignac produces a wide range of cognacs to a discerning array of customers. Renaud and Marie-Hélène de Roffignac own and live in the Chateau Chesnel, and the creation of the eaux-de-vie is in the capable hands of cellar master Jean-Claude Churlaud.
The large majority of Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac cognacs are sold via direct sales. They also take advantage of an agent in Belgium, who helps in their distribution throughout Northern Europe. Of course, with the history of the cognac brand having strong ties to New Orleans, Cognac Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac has also forged quite a following in the United States.
One thing the cognac house is extremely careful to ensure is that they remain faithful to the old cognac producing traditions. However, they have embraced the wants and desires of the modern cognac drinker, and have produced cognacs to suit all tastes and pockets – including an XO that particularly appeals to cigar smokers.
News, Products and Prices
Although a small cognac house, Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac Cognac has a surprisingly large range of cognacs and other specialities. Along with their eaux-de-vie, the house produces a Pineau des Charentes along with three specific cognac based cocktails. One of these is the Cocktail 1882, based on the one made so famous all those years ago in New Orleans.
The house strives to keep their cognacs at an affordable price level. From the Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac VS Cognac right through to the Roffignac XO Grande Champagne Cognac, these artisan produced cognacs are sensibly priced at a level that makes them affordable to all.
Visit Roffignac Cognac
Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac Cognac welcomes visitors to the Chateau during the period 15th June to 15th September. Opening days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays where both groups and individuals can join in a guided tour lasting approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. These tours are in both French and English and leave at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day except Sunday. On Sunday there is a single tour only that commences at 3:00 p.m.
Group tours are available all year around by appointment only.
The tour is taken by the Countess de Roffignac, and includes a 30 minute presentation by the Chateau’s resident oenologist. You will visit both inside the chateau and the distilleries as well as the outside areas. You will also have the chance to taste the products of Cognac Comte Ferdinand de Roffignac.