Pineau des Charentes – yesterday and today Viticulture in the Charentes region of France dates back to Roman times. The first vineyards were planted in the Saintonge, and later spread southwards to the Aunis and Angoulême regions. The town of Cognac and the many ports along the Charente river became centres of the local wine trade. Although nobody knows exactly how Pineau des Charentes came into being, legend has it that this was due to a fortuitous accident. In 1589 – the year of Henri IV’s coronation – a winegrower is said to have mistakenly poured grape must into a barrel of Cognac. A few years later, when he needed to use the barrel for a particularly large crop, he discovered a pure, marvellous new drink. Pineau des Charentes was born. For over four centuries, the winegrowers who make Pineau des Charentes have maintained high standards for this unique product.
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