This unique vin de liqueur is said to have been accidentally discovered by a Burie winemaker who, in 1509, unwittingly put fresh grape juice from the recent harvest into a barrel containing a small quantity of cognac. The next year, he made an extraordinary discovery: a lively concoction that had both the freshness of fruit and the depth of brandy. Pineau des Charentes was born.
Today, regulations require Pineau des Charentes to be made from the fresh juice of grapes grown in the Cognac region and blended with young Cognac. Timing is essential; blending occurs within hours of pressing the grapes. Fermentation is stopped by the spirit, leaving residual sugar and up to 17% alcohol.
Gaston Rivière bottles feature a lovely toile label that hints of the complexity and history of the liqueur contained inside. It is usually served as an apéritif and is lovely to drink slightly chilled on a summer day.
Martine’s Wines is the exclusive importer for Gaston Rivière in all of the United States.