Maine Giraud Cognac
Owned by the Durand family since 1938, the cognac house and winery of Le Maine Giraud was once the home of the famous French poet, playwright and novelist Alfred de Vigny in the 1800s. One of de Vigny’s most well known poems is titled La Mort de Loup (The Death of the Wolf). This poem was written in Le Maine Giraud in Charente. Twenty kilometres south of Angouleme at Champagne-Vigny, the chateau is surrounded by forty acres of vineyards where today, as for many hundreds of years, the grape is grown in a traditional manner, just like in the days of de Vigny, to create cognac, wine and Pineau des Charentes.
Visit Maine Giraud: Le Maine Giraud ,16250 Champagne-Vigny ,+33 (0)545640449 ,Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and bank holidays from 10:00 a.m. www.mainegiraud.com Other products by Le Maine Giraud: Pineau, Vin de Pays, Juice
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History of Cognac Le Maine Giraud
Alfred de Vigny, military man, political activist, author and romantic poet of the 19th century owned the estate of Le Maine Giraud until his death in 1863. Although his home was originally in Paris, he visited his chateau on numerous occasions – overseeing the growing, distillation, production and sales of the cognac and wine produced. No doubt the peace of the surrounding countryside provided great inspiration, and many of his poems were written in the ‘Ivory Tower’ of the chateau, which to this day is part of the small museum that was installed there in his honour.
In 1938, Le Maine Giraud became the property of the Durand family. They have continued to farm the vines and produce cognac and wines abiding by the traditional mannera used in the days of de Vigny. Their eaux de vie are aged in the cellars of the chateau, which dates back to the 15th century, and the complete production process, as during the centuries, is carried out on the property.
Le Maine Giraud Cognac Today
Today, the Durand family produce four different grades of cognac, ranging from their MG Cognac Glacé that is aged for five years through to an XO of at least 25 years. Along with producing cognac, the chateau also makes white, rosé and red wine as well as the local Pineau des Charente. The vineyards are all planted with Ugni Blanc grapes.
The Durands encourage visitors to visit the museum of Alfred de Vigny and learn about this great man’s history. They also host seminars, concerts, dinners, exhibitions and theatrical events and create a very lively programme around their cognac production.
News, Products and Old Labels
The MG Cognac Glacé by Le Maine Giraud is very popular with a younger clientele and mainly used to serve mix-drinks such as Cognac Tonic for example.
From May through to December the reception hall is home to various painting exhibitions.
Visit Le Maine Giraud
It’s possible to visit both the distillery and the museum of Alfred de Vigny seven days a week.
Both are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and bank holidays they open at 10:00 a.m. English spoken. Guided tours are also offered. Contact the chateau in advance to arrange.
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