Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jarnac, France - June 21, 2011

Jarnac is in the Charente department of the Poitou-Charentes region in southwestern France on the right bank of the Charentes river. The city population peaked in 1975 at 5,000 and has declined about 10 percent since that time.
François Mitterrand, a former president of France, was born in the city in 1916 and there is a museum in town marking this fact. The region is renowned for the production of the Cognac variety of brandy and Jarnac is home to the Courvoisier cognac factory.

Although Felix Courvoisier didn't actually establish Courvoisier until 1835, fourteen years after the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, the company website claims that Courvoisier was Napoleon's favorite brandy and that he took several barrels of it with him in 1815 when he was confined to the island of St. Helena for the last six years of his life. History can be so confusing...
In 1964 Courvoisier was acquired by Hiram Walker which itself was acquired in 1986 by Allied Lyons. Later Courvoisier was divested to the holding company Fortune Brands, which spun off several spirit manufacturers in 2011 to form Beam Inc. Staggering!
More pictures here.

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