Discover Cognac Country: From Vine to Glass

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Travel off the beaten path to Cognac country, one of the largest wine regions in all of France — only second to Bordeaux. Despite being home to one of the most popular of all brandies, it’s not as frequented by tourists. But it’s worth the journey; spread across six vineyard growth areas, known as ‘crus,’ there are 79,000 hectares of beautiful vineyards, and to be considered a true cognac, the grapes have to be grown in one of these six areas.

Situated just three hours by train from Paris, the region is home to not only the brandy, but it’s namesake, a quaint and historic town which was the birthplace to King Francois I. The region is also home to a number of famous trading houses — four of which are responsible for 80% of worldwide cognac sales — and museums, some of which you’ll visit — along with the vineyards and distillers — on this unique 4-day tour of the area.

With so many distillers spread across this southwestern region of France, it’s important to have a guide to get an inside view into this fascinating world of cognac. Your guide is incredibly knowledgeable on this world-famous spirit, as he’s a Certified Cognac Educator. He first learned about distilling calvados — up in Normandy — from his grandmother, and continued his education in far-flung locations like Southeast Asia, and as close by as his neighbors, who were distillers too.

Experience the region of Cognac with your English-speaking guide and Certified Cognac Educator who will take you to several wine estates — some hidden among the many vineyards — as well as wine cellars, distilleries, and trading houses, some of which aren’t open to the public. Visits will provide an inside peek into the making of cognac with the local artisans, from the vine to the glass. And all of this is capped with plenty of cognac tastings, the perfect way to experience the ‘liquor of the gods,’ as French writer Victor Hugo once referred to cognac.

Trip Details

  • This itinerary does not feature any cooking classes but does include 11 cognac visits, among them a master class.


Day One

Cognac tour in France

  • Arrive at Bordeaux airport and group transfer to your relais accommodations in the heart of Cognac country.
  • After checking in, take a brief walk through the scenic village of St. Preuil to learn a bit about vine growing and stop at a distillery.
  • Enjoy your first 2-hour Cognac master class, which is lead by a guide and certified cognac educator, who will introduce you to cognac’s flavors, blends, and characteristics.
  • Return to the relais for an aperitif and dinner tasting.
  • Overnight.

Bedroom in Cognac, France

Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, visit a traditional distillery, where you’ll learn about the art of making cognac. This distillery is an independent one, and, to this day, uses Fille Blanche grapes as well as a still that is heated with coal and wood.
  • Enjoy a traditional lunch at a restaurant situated among the beautiful vineyards.
  • In the afternoon, tour a cooperage, where you’ll discover the role of the cooper, who makes the wooden barrels that cognac is aged in.
  • Continue your tour with your guide to another distillery, where they specialize in cask strength cognacs; you’ll see how they distill using two stills of different sizes. Following the tour, sit down for a fabulous dinner that’s been made by the distillery’s owner!
  • Return to the relais and overnight.

A visit to a Cognac distillery

Day Three

  • Following breakfast, it’s on to the next distillery, this one a professional one that works with a famous trading house. This morning you’ll discover both sides of the business of cognac: the Cognac marketers — otherwise known as the trading houses — as well as the wine distillers — who own the vineyards and produce the wine.
  • Lunch to follow in the bustling city of Cognac, which started as a thriving river port.
  • After lunch, it’s time to explore the city’s history with the brandy that goes by the same name. First stop at MACO, a museum that is all about Cognac; the permanent exhibition spans two floors and includes more than 800 artifacts.
  • Next, visit a famous trading house (this may be Rémy Martin, Martell, or Courvoisier); whichever house you visit, you’ll be taught the different stages of cognac production. The visit ends with a cognac tasting.
  • On the way back to the relais, stop to see the biggest collection of cognacs in the entire world.
  • Before heading back to your room, have dinner at the relais.
  • Overnight.

Bottles of Cognac during a tasting tour in France

Day Four

  • Breakfast and check out of the relais.
  • En route back to Bordeaux on your group transfer, stop at a mixed cropping farm, where a small distillery is situated. Here you’ll learn a bit about the reasons for mixed farming from the owner.
  • You’ll arrive at the Bordeaux airport mid morning.
  • Au revoir!

Trip Details

Included in the 3-Night Trip


3 nights accommodations in a deluxe double room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 2 luches
  • 3 dinners
  • Beverages with all meals

Classes & Instructors

  • This itinerary does not feature any cooking classes but does include 11 cognac visits, among them a master class.


  • 1 visit to the village of St. Preuil
  • 11 cognac visits, including a master class, 5 distilleries, 1 cooperage, 1 Cognac house, and 2 museums (including entrance tickets)

Transfer Details

  • One arrival transfer from Bordeaux airport to the relais
  • One departure transfer to Bordeaux airport


  • English-speaking local guide
  • Transportation for all included excursions

Accommodation Information

Situated in a 17th century hamlet and among the Grande Champagne vineyards of the Cognac region, the owners of a charming guest mansion will welcome you like family. Le Relais de St. Preuil features just eight rooms, including four deluxe double rooms. While all individually decorated in a country style, each room has an ensuite bathroom, as well as a hair dryer, safe box, and Internet access. Although its a relaxing getaway in the countryside it also serves as an ideal location to explore all that Cognac country has to offer in the southwest of France.



Pricing & Tour Dates

April through June, September through December

3-night Program

US$2290 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$275 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

Tour Dates

Currently unavailable. Please see all our food and wine tours in France.


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