TOURISM: THE COGNAC COLLECTIVE OFFER IS EXPANDING WITH NEW EXPERIENCES TO DISCOVER
On Tuesday 20 June, the BNIC announced the expansion of the Explore Cognac community, which brings together key players committed to showcasing their region, their expertise and their appellation through a series of unique wine tourism experiences dedicated to Cognac. Eleven new members are offering new experiences to enjoy in the Cognac geographical area. In turn, this will strengthen the collective communication initiative implemented in 2022 and turn visitors into “Cognac ambassadors” as they experience unforgettable moments. Nearly fifty experiences are currently proposed under the Explore Cognac collective brand.
49 EXPLORE COGNAC EXPERIENCES AVAILABLE IN 2023
Since its launch in 2022, Explore Cognac has continued to expand thanks to the addition of new members, including wine estates, Cognac merchant houses, bars, restaurants, cultural and hospitality venues, artisans and local producers. The aim is to reach 150 members by 2024 in a bid to further broaden the range of experiences available to both French and international visitors. To date, the Cognac appellation offers 38 experiences, with a further 11 new experiences unveiled:
• Cellar tour with Delamain: an exclusive “after-hours” tour of the cellar complete with an olfactory barrel tasting and gourmet dinner featuring local dishes and three XO cognacs.
• Cognac Guillon-Painturaud: a Spirits Escape Game offering a fun way to get together and discover the know-how that goes into making Cognac.
• Béthanie Péniche: visitors are welcomed aboard for a 3-hour boat ride to discover the Cognac houses dotted along the banks of the river and the sun-drenched landscapes of the Charentes region.
• Ouest Charente Outdoor: a GPS-guided bike ride through back roads and country trails to discover the Cognac vineyards. During the tour, visitors will meet a winegrower and distiller to learn about the expertise behind making Cognac.
• Cognac Bertrand: visitors will meet winegrowers from Domaine des Brissons de Laage to see how time works its magic during a guided tour of the estate, distillery and cellar, followed by a fun tasting.
• Logis des Tourelles: in a private residence in the historic heart of Cognac, the logis des Tourelles offers a multi-sensory experience featuring a premium quality Cognac tasting.
• Domaine de Pladuc: the estate offers a rare chance to discover the cuisine of Réunion Island paired with the subtle aromas and flavours of Cognac, all within an ancient wine estate built in Petite Champagne.
• Maison de la Vigne et des Saveurs: visitors are invited to discover how Cognac is made and how to taste it, during sensory workshops in a fun and laid-back atmosphere by the pot still.
• Tonnellerie Allary: a “full-sensory” immersion into the cooperage’s workshops to discover the barrel-making process from start to finish. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see how large vessels, barrels and miniature casks are made.
• Cognac Jewellery School: this half-day experience focuses on jewelry-making inspired by Ugni Blanc – a predominant grape variety in the Cognac vineyards.
• Domaine des Bessons: a tour of the family estate, ecomuseum and interpretation center for the Cognac trade offering a fun, poetic and sensory discovery of the history of Cognac in Migron, in the Fins Bois region.
The Explore Cognac experiences draw on all the senses and immerse visitors in the Cognac universe through a variety of formats, and forge ties with the people who are dedicated to showcasing this unique world heritage. Cognac promotes values that bring together the region’s operators in a bid to share memorable, meaningful experiences with visitors from around the world.
A PROGRAM THAT SUPPORTS EXPERIENTIAL TOURISM
Cognac is not just a wine spirit. It is also a region and universe waiting to be explored. Launched by the Cognac sector, Explore Cognac is a collective program aiming to give greater visibility to the various tourism activities available in the region while offering visitors a series of unique and authentic experiences highlighting the specific characteristics of Cognac culture: openness to the world, unexpected discoveries, diversity, heritage transmission, the virtue of patience and elegance.
This program reflects the emergence of a new type of tourism based on the quest for meaning, authenticity and forging ties. Its core mission is to develop a tailored tour with a series of signature experiences to help visitors discover Cognac: a diverse array of activities in the heart of the Cognac houses and vineyards, focusing on sport, cuisine and culture, as well as real-life encounters with those who work in the region (winegrowers, grower-distillers, merchants, restaurateurs, hotel owners and other operators in the tourism industry), the sharing of expertise and local gastronomy products, along with well-being activities.
“We are a community of key players committed to our region and appellation. Our collective group is defined by respect and mutual assistance. The Cognac sector promotes values which we are dedicated to sharing with all our visitors. We are pulling out all the stops to create a series of magical experiences for them. They arrive as tourists and leave as ambassadors” – that is the manifesto of the Explore Cognac community.
© BNIC / Aurélien Terrade
ABOUT THE BNIC
The BNIC, or Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, represents, develops and preserves the Cognac AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée), both in France and abroad.
In the 150+ countries where Cognac is sold, this Geographical Indication provides consumers with a guarantee that they are buying an outstanding wine spirit. Comprising an equal number of members from the winegrowing and commercial sides of the industry, the BNIC is a coordination and decision-making body which brings together almost 4,300 winegrowers and grower-distillers, 120 professional distillers, and 265 merchants operating within the appellation.
The BNIC defends the interests of Cognac producers and consumers, with an unwavering commitment to everyone with an interest in this appellation.