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Memories of the Charentes

wine

Hullo there,
I’ve just discovered your site, so haven’t quite thought through an
order yet, but I had to get in touch when I found you are selling pineau
and cognac I first tasted over 20 years ago.

We picked Logis de la Montagne from a book of holiday Gites de France in
1982. I wasn’t sure of the location so I wrote off in my best school
French to M Bonnin, the then proprietor. I was surprised to receive
not only detailed directions to the place, but a very nice letter
expressing pleasure that we had chosen to visit them from so far away
(Edinburgh) and hoping we would enjoy our stay. We were also
pleasantly surprised that the letter was headed “Pierre Bonnin,
viticulteur”.

We enjoyed our stay so much that we spent two more holidays there in the
eighties, as well as passing details to friends who also booked the
gite. Too many stories to tell here, suffice it to say that the
degustation sessions in the farmyard summer house (not grand enough to
be called a visitor centre) were a highlight of every stay – Bonnin
would never let a taster drink alone! And M Bonnin’s conducted tours
may have been less professional and slick than the Martell/Hennessey
versions, but the personal touch and clear pride in his work made it a
far richer experience.

We were invited into their home and made to feel part of the family. I
would be very interested to know whether the same M Bonnin or a
successor is now in charge – when I last saw him he wasn’t too well, and
that was in the mid/late eighties. I think he was then “grooming” his
son-in-law to take over.

At that time sales were virtually only direct at Logis de la Montagne or
to local shops and bars, although even then they had one medals – I
think at Paris and Bristol and elsewhere. It’s good to know the
business is still going strong and has a UK outlet.

Regards
Richard Treadgold

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