Cognac, Jarnac & St-Meme-les-Carriers


Cognac (pop 19,700) is a riverside town that is best known for the brandy drink that bears its name. This double-distilled, fiery concoction must be made within the town borders to adopt the name; as such the town is home to many fine cognac houses. The area is also known for its pretty vine-covered countryside setting.

Cognac central area is around the roundabout at Place François 1er, which is linked to the river via Bd Denfert Rochereau. You can arrive at town via train [Avenue du Maréchal Leclerc] or flight at the Angoulême-Cognac Airport (northwest of town). 

Cognac is home to a pretty little
Vieille Ville (Old City) that is interspersed with narrow streets, which are lined with medieval houses from the 15th and 17th centuries.

The breezy Jardin Public lies northeast of this, housing the Musée Cognac [48 bd Denfert-Rochereau, +33 5454320725 ad/ch €4.80/Free] in its southern corner. This museum stands in a 19th century mansion and its traces the history of the town with a modest yet impressive collection of art and archaeological artefacts. The ticket to this museum also admits visitors to the Musée des Arts du Cognac [Place de la Salle Verte,
FRANCE POITOU-CHARENTE CHARENTE bouteille de cognac+33 545362110]. Not to be mistaken for an art museum, this building (housed amidst 16th century ramparts) is exclusively devoted to the ‘art’ of cognac production. The museum exhibits a collection of instruments used in cognac distillation, as well as labels and models of the various cognac bottles over time.

Touted by the locals as being the “nectar of gods”, cognac is a drink made from grape eaux-de-vie and aged in oak barrels. Popular names including Rémy Martin [20 rue de la Société Vinicole +33 545357666], Henessey [rue de la Richonne +33 545357272], Martell [7 Place Edouard Martell, +33 545363333], as well as smaller cognac houses have all made guided tours and tasting available to visitors. The tourist office has a list of small cognac houses, which are usually closed between October and March. Advance booking of tickets is recommended.


Javascript is required to view this map.

COGNAC:   1. Tourist office  2. Train station (south of map limits)  3. Musée Cognac  4. Musée des Arts du Cognac  5. Rémy Martin (south west of map limts)  6. Henessey  7. Martell  8. Jardin Public  9. Place François  10. Courvoisier, Jarnac (east of map limits; zoom out 6 clicks)  11. St-Meme-les-Carriers  (east of map limits; zoom out 6 clicks)


Jarnac (pop 4,700) is a small town east of Cognac is the hometown of former president François Mitterand. Jarnac joins its neighbours in the cognac production trade. The most reputable cognac house within this town, is the Courvoisier [2 Place Château, +33 545355555] (also known as the Cognac of Napoleon III as he named them the Imperial Suppliers).


St-Meme-les-Carriers (pop 1,200) is a charming hamlet that lies in the Grande Champagne. Home to little alleyways that are lined with stone houses.