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November 8, 2010

Cognac Region Receives Certification as Wine Tourism Destination

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Cognac, France – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Cognac has been awarded certification as an official area of interest in France’s first Vignobles et De’couvertes designations. The designations were announced in Paris on October 14th by the French Secretary of State for Tourism, Herve Novelli, and Paul Dubrule, President of the Council for Wine Tourism.

French winegrowing regions attract some 7.5 million visitors each year, one-third of which are foreign visitors. The new Vignobles et De’couvertes designations, created by the Council for Wine Tourism, are designed to raise the profile of accredited regions and to help further develop their potential.

Regions are all chosen because of the interest they represent for visitors, as well as for the facilities they offer in terms of accommodation, restaurants, activities (such as visiting cellars), places of interest, events and outstanding beauty, plus ease of access.

The Cognac designation covers a 50km radius around the city of Cognac.

Cognac’s heavyweight bid to become a Vignobles et De’couvertes designation (the materials for the bid literally tipped the scales at a massive 9.5kg) was the result of months of work by members of the “Experience Cognac” team from the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), along with the Charente and Charente-Maritime Tourist Boards, The Cognac Tourist Office and the Regional Tourist Board for the whole of the Poitou-Charente area.

The strength of the bid was, in part, thanks to the innovative E’tapes du Cognac Association, which has brought together key players in viticulture and tourism in the Cognac region for the past ten years. The Association aims to promote tourism within the Cognac appellation. Its 180 members are made up of distillers, winegrowers and museums, as well as owners of restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. Members are only admitted under the Association’s Quality Charter, which, in 2009, set new standards for the reception of visitors at vineyards, Cognac production sites, and other culture sites.

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