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Pineau François 1ER Wines

Pineau François 1ER

While at the APVSA wine tasting for importers and media, we  discovered and tasted two Pineau wines. Pineau wines are produced with a blend of grape juice and Cognac eau-de-vie. Frequently, the result is a wine that has fresh fruit notes. Pineau wines were first developed quite by accident in the late 1500s when someone added grape must to a partial barrel of Cognac eau-de-vie. When the Cognac barrel was opened, the taste was memorable and so the tradition of producing Pineaus began. Pineau wines are unique wines in a specific AOC  of France, Appellation Pineau des Charentes Contrôlée.

The first Pineau François 1ER Pineaus were produced during the 1930s by Gaston Rivière. Today Philippe G. Rivière continues the tradition of producing Pineaus using age-old methods that include using wood and coal for heating the distilling equipment.

Pineau François 1ER at APVSA

The Pineau François 1ER  White  Pineau, with 17% alcohol, was a light gold color. At the tasting, blue cheese and seafood were recommended for pairings. Other food pairings include roasted goose and muscle recipes. The White Pineau had an aroma and taste of dried apricots. This fortified wine offered a nice combination of acidity and sweetness. This full-bodied wine coated the mouth.

The Red Pineau Francois 1ER  also was 17% alcohol. The wine was a translucent red/purple color. The wine offered strawberry and raspberry notes. The fortified wine was medium bodied and also coated the roof of the mouth. The finish had a little heat but was balanced. Yum! Try a glass of this Pineau while sitting next to a fireplace. Food

Pineau François 1ER uses wood and coal for the still. (Photo provided by Pineau François 1ER)

pairings include melons, dark chocolate desserts and fruit salad.


Wine Trail Traveler: How long has Pineau François 1ER been producing wine? 

Pineau François 1ER: The brand was released in 1930’s by Gaston Riviere, it’s creator, decided to sell only the pineau aged in cask oak.

Wine Trail Traveler: How many hectares of vineyards does the winery own? What are the grape varieties in the vineyard? 

Pineau François 1ER:  The vineyard has 32 hectares of vine grapes. The grape varieties for the white pineau is Ugni Blanc and Colombard. For the red pineau we used Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Trail Traveler: To what do you owe the success of Pineau François 1ER?

Pineau François 1ER: The reputation of its production quickly extends beyond our borders of Charente. Even today this quality is still recognised. The pineau François is distilled in authentic red copper alambics and remain among the last to use wood and coal for heating. Also our very important stock of old pineau which aged in Limousin oak barrels.

Wine Trail Traveler: Currently where are the wines available?

Pineau François 1ER: The wines are available in the USA in San Francisco and New York City, in Belgium and in Slovakia.

Wine Trail Traveler: Are visitors encouraged to visit the winery? If so, what can they expect to discover at the winery?

Pineau François 1ER: We also organise some tours of the domain. It’s open to the public everyday of the year, they just have to call before for planning a day.

People will discover the vineyard, the distillery and the cellar. At the end we propose a free tasting of our pineau François 1er.

Wine Trail Traveler: What would you like the public to know about Pineau François 1ER?

Pineau François 1ER: Pineau François 1ER is one of the last families who still make pineau with wood and coal. They’re also the first brand created of Pineau des Charentes.

Our clients are gastronomic restaurant like Le Jules Verne (the Eiffel Tower restaurant), L’Astrance, le Plaza Athénée and famous wineries like la cave Augé, la grande épicerie de Paris …

Wine Trail Traveler hopes to see the Pineau François available in more areas of the United States. Importers and distributors should consider Pineau François 1ER.


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