Step Aside, Master Distiller: Cognac-area Winemaker Captures Top Wine Award
Despite centuries of distilling heritage, a handful of producers in the Cognac region have chosen to forgo distillation of top cuvées and craft fine wines.
PONS, France Sept. 8, 2015 — In the Charente region, home to France’s revered Cognac brandy, a group of producers has gone against convention. Eclipsed by Cognac’s international fame, members of the Charentais Wine Producers’ Union have been producing fine wines unbeknownst to most consumers. One of these wine growers, the Maison des 3 Ponts, which produces “LEPONTIS” varietal wines about 15 miles southeast of Cognac, is starting to amass numerous accolades.
“We are extremely honored to have been awarded the Coup de Coeur [‘Judge’s Favorite’] in blind tastings for our 2014 LEPONTIS Sauvignon Blanc in the 2016 Guide Hachette,” said Jean-Marc Bureau, LEPONTIS winemaker. Receiving a Coup de Coeur in the Guide Hachette des Vins, France’s foremost wine buying guide, is widely regarded as the holy grail of the French wine world. “We are proud to share with wine-lovers our collection of outstanding wines that are fresh, complex, yet approachable and expressive of each grape variety’s distinctive character,” said Bureau. LEPONTIS brand manager, Pierre Naud, will be present at the 2016 Guide Hachette award ceremony in Paris on September 10, 2015 to accept the prize.
The LEPONTIS Chardonnay and Merlot-based LEPONTIS Rosé have also received awards in multiple wine competitions such as the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge. “We don’t have to limit ourselves to using Ugni Blanc grapes for distillation into Cognac,” said Bureau. “Many people are not aware wide range of grape varieties grown here and of the excellent wines that we make in the Charente region. We hope that the recognition we receive at home and abroad can help put us on the map.”
The Charentais Wine Producers’ Union announced earlier this year the excellent performance of IGP Charentais wines at the 2015 Paris Agricultural Competition (Concours Générale Agricole de Paris). Wines of the 2014 vintage garnered 15 medals, 5 of which were gold.
Since 2009, wines produced in the Charente region can use the “IGP Charentais” geographical indication which was originally created in 1981 under a now obsolete appellation scheme. Situated a 1-hour drive north of Bordeaux, this little-known zone covers roughly 5,000 square miles around the town of Cognac. In 2013, the IGP Charentais’ production was 37% white, 24% red and 39% rosé. International varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thrive in this region thanks to the Charente’s moderate maritime climate.
Compared to the 2014 vintage, which had slightly cooler, wetter conditions during the growing season, the 2015 vintage is so far showing great outlook. According to Maison des 3 Ponts enologist Jean-Michel Naud, “We’ve had a warm spring and summer so far with little rain. As long as the weather holds out favorably for the next two weeks, we’ll have a stellar 2015 vintage.”
For further information, contact Pierre Naud; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.LEPONTIS.com
About Maison des 3 Ponts
Founded in 2013, the Maison des 3 Ponts produces LEPONTIS, a premium collection of acclaimed IGP Charentais wines. The LEPONTIS collection includes “Joly Sable” Chardonnay, “Les Roches” Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir par LEPONTIS, “Croix de Lune” Merlot and “Prélude” Rosé. LEPONTIS is imported and distributed in the U.S. by Wines & Beyond Import LLC in Poughkeepsie, NY