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Everything that LOUIS XIII will become one day begins here, in the very exclusive and strictly delimited portion of the Cognac vineyard that is defined as Grande Champagne.

The landscape here is strikingly beautiful. It is named 'Champagne', like the other famous 'Champagne', because it reminded the Romans who first brought vines to this region of the fertile and undulating Campania on the outskirts of Rome. It is often referred to as 'The Tuscany of France'. But what makes it precious runs far deeper than natural beauty.

The soil, you will notice, is light grey in color, often close to white, which hints to the unique properties that lie beneath –a gift of deep, soft chalk bequeathed by the geological storm of the Tertiary period. You will find this cretaceous chalk in other soils, layered with the clay that is its natural companion, but only in this area does the formation have that special perfection that makes it the birthplace of the only grapes that will ever be a part of LOUIS XIII.

Here the chalk is of the softest kind, where vine roots may easily penetrate and reach down to extraordinary depths. From the chalk the roots draw water in just the quantity they need.

Other factors collaborate to make this a unique place for vines, most especially the gentle, temperate climate of Charente that brushes the landscape with favorable prevailing winds and above-average rainfall spread evenly across the year. Here we find the maritime influences of the Atlantic to the west and the continental influences of the interior, but without the excesses of either.

The grapes that are born of these exclusive conditions will imprint the signature of this special land on every stage in the century-long evolution of LOUIS XIII –first in the aromatic maturity that defines the moment of harvest, and continuing with the fermentation of the low-alcohol wine that is the voice of the distilled eaux-de-vie. In so many ways, the very nature of the soil in which the grapes have grown will find voice in the richness and complexity of the aged and blended cognac.

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Time Collection: City of Lights – 1900

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