Wine has been grown in the Charentes region since Roman times. Win culture began in Saintonge in the third century, spread to the Aunis and Angoumois districts, and eventually covered the whole of the present-day regions of Charente and Charente-Maritime. The town of Cognac lay at the centre of this new industry. So, Pineau des Charentes shares much of its history with Cognac, both draw on the same traditional skills and expertise.

Initially reserved mainly for consumption at weddings and other family events, Pineau des Charentes became popular throughout the region, and eventually across France.

The industry began to organise itself in 1920, and obtained appellation d’origine status in 1935. On 12 October 1945 Pineau des Charentes went one step further by being named an appellation d’origine contrôlée wine – a label that guarantees its origin and quality. Since then it has been exported across the world.

No one is quite sure how Pineau des Charentes came into being, but according to legend it was the result of an accident. A wine grower carelessly threw some grape must into a barrel of cognac eau de vie, and years later discovered that he’d created a limpid wine the colour of sunshine. And so Pineau des Charentes was born.