A small-scale artisanal producer of Cognac for over 210 years.
Producing Cognac for Seven Generations
Our ancesters, the Allard and Chauvin families, started the family vineyard in 1805 in the village of Saint-Preuil. This small township of 289 inhabitants is located at the very heart of Grande Champagne: Cognac Premier Cru (First Growth).
An exceptional terroir for an exceptional Cognac.
A terroir chosen by the family over time
Our wine-growing enterprise, situated at the very heart of the Premier Cru (First Growth) classification cognac in Grande Champagne, produces the finest eaux-de-vie, marked by their distinction and the length of their strong, floral finish. These eaux-de-vie require long aging in oak barrels to achieve maturity. Only eaux-de-vie from this growth have the honor of being called “Cognac Grande Champagne” or “Cognac Grande Fine Champagne”.
The superficial, calcareous soil layer over soft, chalky limestone underlies the taste and aromas of the wines produced in the area. It’s in this part of the Cognac region that the limestone layer is the thickest and oldest. You can find chalk everywhere in these photos: from the white stones at the base of the vines to the walls of the houses and the wineries.
The size of our estate allows us to cultivate our 30 hectares (74 acres) of vineyards in a sustainable and respectful manner. We do our best to practice sustainable viticulture and use the least amount of pesticides possible. Natural vegetation is purposely maintained in and around the grounds and controlled by the mechanical working and rolling of the soil. This vegetation stimulates and encourages the life of the soil.
A family, a terroir, a story
Sharing passion from one generation to the next
Pierre Chauvin and his wife Jeanne settled in Saint-Preuil in 1805, directly after the birth of their first son. They owned little land, and thus not many vines. Through the years they bought new plots and planted vines. At this time, common types of wine grapes were mainly Colombard and Folle Blanche. Cultivating was first done using oxen, then horses a little later. Starting with the first harvests, they installed a 3 hectoliter (79 gallon) wood-burning still typical of the Charentes region and began storing Cognac.
In those days, you had to sleep in the distillery to monitor the fire and the flow of Cognac. The 3 hl (79 gallon) wood-burning still was exchanged for a 6 hl (158.5 gallon) one around 1900. In 1944, our grand-father, Emile Ardoin, was the fourth-generation viticulture successor in the family. Under his tenure, the estate rapidly evolved. Seven hectares (seventeen acres) of land were replanted with Ugni blanc grapes. Horses were still used to cultivate the vines, but the first tractor was purchased in 1948. Coal (briquettes) replaced wood in the distilling process. The changes were minor as it was still necessary to sleep in the distillery, but monitoring the fire became easier.
The sixth generation of this family, Daniel and Liliane Bouju, carried on the same principal traditions. They continued to buy rarely-available land and plant vines. Modern agriculture was on the horizon and horses disappeared in the advent of tractors. In 1960, the 6 hl (158.5 gallon) still was replaced by a 16.5 hl (436 gallon) still.
Today we now own 30 hectares (74 acres) planted with Ugni-blanc vines in Grande Champagne. Modern cultivation has now reached its zenith. Only the Cognac has remained the same and will stay the course of time. We distill and age Cognac in the same manner as our ancestors