25 minutes from Cognac between Bordeaux and La-Rochelle
In the south-west of France, near to the spa town of Jonzac and its waterpark, this property is not far from a village in the area known as “Petite Champagne”, the second historical “cru” (vineyard) of Cognac, birthplace of François 1st. The region, with its wealth of Romanesque heritage, near to the Gironde and the ocean, is one of the sunniest in France; the climate is beneficial for vineyards as well as numerous wooded plots. Just like a large number of houses throughout the region, it is the direct result of the development of Cognac, from the 19th century through to current times.
Slip roads for the A10 motorway are just 20 minutes away, making it possible to reach Paris in 4½ hours. Angoulême TGV train station, 40 minutes away, provides 110-minute links to the French capital. The sea is 40 minutes away, Bordeaux is an hour away and La-Rochelle a mere 70 minutes away.
The estate is laid out around an enclosed square courtyard, with vehicle and pedestrian entrances on the north side. Inside, the year 1826 acts as a reminder that this property has existed for at least 200 years. The courtyard is enhanced with a plot laid to lawn and featuring two silk plants. A few olive trees border the edge of the outbuildings on the north-west side, whilst shrubberies adorn the east side. The main, dressed stone house takes up the south side, facing the enclosed garden, with its swimming pool and its pizza oven laid out at the southern end.
On the west side, an adjoining covered area spanning more than 100 m² precedes the outbuildings converted into holiday let cottages and two vast barns used for functions. A large wine storehouse is set at right angles to the east side of the main building. Outside the courtyard, on the north-west side, a swimming pool and its pool house are on the left-hand side of the entrance to the estate, whilst two small wine-making buildings are on the right-hand side. Two narrow, tree-lined driveways lead to the estate from the north and from the east, by the side of a plot planted with truffle oaks. On the west side, a square dovecote topped with a pavilion roof, stands near to a vine, marking the beginning of a plot of woods that is also part of the property.
The large, luxurious home
This house, its two stories separated by a string course, is completely constructed from white dressed limestone, illuminated by the Cognac region’s sunshine. The inward-opening, double-glazed windows are set in wooden frames. The building features nine bays, with an access door at each end and a central entrance on both the courtyard and garden sides.
The hip roof, covered with local terracotta tiles, is enhanced in the centre by a raised section with a Mansard-style roof. Covered with slate and featuring Jacobin-style dormers on all sides, it houses a room above the first floor.
The floor of the central, through entrance hall is paved with very well preserved, old stone tiles inlaid with decoration. A corridor and a stairway are on the left-hand side.
On the same side, a dining room, with its white Louis XV style fireplace, faces south. Its floor is covered with light-coloured, oak wood parquet flooring, laid in a strip pattern, and its dark walls contrast with a white ceiling. It is followed by a back kitchen, leading to another two rooms and a stairway in an area with access to the outside on either side.
On the right-hand side of the vestibule, a large, reception lounge features a fireplace, backing on to a wall and currently housing a wood-burning stove, exposed stone walls, a white ceiling, enhanced with a cornice, and wide, light-coloured floor tiles. Adjoining are a vast dining room and a small outbuilding. The fitted kitchen, laid out longwise, has three large picture windows, one of which opens on to the covered area set at right angles. A stairway goes up from this room to the upstairs bedrooms.
Both stairways go up to a corridor on the courtyard side, providing access to four south-facing bedrooms, with two shower rooms and a bathroom. The latter are all fitted with solar-powered water heating systems and electrically heated, strip pattern flooring. This level ends on the west side with a vast room, laid out as a games room. The stairway in the large kitchen on the ground floor makes it possible to go up to the two other bedrooms on this side. The walls are identical to those on the ground floor.
A single room under the roof dominates the buildings, the estate and the vines stretching for as far as the eye can see through dormer windows on all sides.
These 7 cottages, in pristine condition, span a total surface area of more than 800 m². They have been laid out in the outbuildings which have been completely renovated in such a way as to enhance the old stone. The double-glazed windows are set in aluminium frames. The dwellings once used by seasonal workers, the storehouses where the Cognac “eaux-de-vie” spirits were kept, an old bakehouse as well as the old cowsheds, with their impressive beams, are now able to comfortably and spaciously accommodate up to 36 guests. One cottage has one bedroom, two cottages have two bedrooms and the last four each have three bedrooms. They all have a modern fitted kitchen as well as shower or bathrooms. The history of the property has resulted in the cottages having such delightfully evocative names as “Les vendangeurs”, “La distillerie”, “Le chai”, “La vieille boulangerie”, “Les étables” and “La charmille”, the latter bringing the landscape to mind.
Each cottage has its own outdoor area with a table and a barbecue.
Although the main house is built from dressed stone, the outbuildings are all constructed from quarry stone blocks and the openings are framed with dressed stone surrounds.
Two vast function rooms, which together can take more than 200 guests, have been converted in the barns and laid with travertine stone floors.
The distillery is home to two large stills and, nearby, a room intended for the caterers is fitted with numerous electrical sockets.
On the other hand, a barn spanning approx. 340 m² and another spanning approx. 485 m² and housing vats are not currently in use.
The wine-making buildings located outside the courtyard are rented on short-term leases.
A private, walled garden on the south side of the main house has trees around its periphery, leaving a central open area. On the east side of this large square, flowers such as tulips enhance the entire property, notably for the ever more numerous events held in the summer season.
The splendour of the property, with its large, luxurious home spanning almost 600 m² and its 1,300 m² of outbuildings, with more than 800 m² of living space, is equalled but by that of the landscape, like a backdrop with vineyards all around. In the centre of its 15 ha of land and its many outbuildings, this property is laid out in an enclosed square courtyard, reminiscent of the ancient villas that were once dotted throughout the region. Olive trees belonging to the property, vines covering the hillsides and the surrounding fields evoke the trio of Roman crops. Not to mention, the truffle oaks. These premises are ideal for recharging one’s batteries.
Personal as well as national and international public interest in the Mid-Atlantic region boosts prospects for a private residence as well as those for continuing the lucrative tradition of holiday let cottages, one obviously being compatible with the other given the size of the estate. The obvious rental activity which is already in existence, including the organisation of weddings, well-being workshops and festive events, also appears to be one option, amongst many others, to be further developed. Here, size becomes the prelude to imagination.
|Land registry surface area||15 ha 32 a 63 ca|
|Main building surface area||586 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||20|
|Outbuilding surface area||1300 m2|
Ariel Dormeau +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.