Experience the Spirit of La Bastide with France’s oldest digestif – Armagnac

Estate celebrates 50 years since its first vintage

Situated in the heart of Gascony, La Bastide celebrates 50 years since the estates’ vineyard, Chateau de Sandemagnan produced its first Armagnac vintage. Part of the Guerard family portfolio from the late 1960’s, Sandemagnan is a hidden gem producing some of the finest Bas Armagnac.

Less prominent than brandy, and not as widely produced as Cognac, Armagnac is the oldest spirit to be distilled in France and a secret favourite amongst chefs. There are three appellations within the region: Armagnac-Tenareze, Haut Armagnac and Chateau de Sandemagnan lays within the Bas Armagnac appellation, where over 50% of the spirit is produced. The vineyard is one of the larger producers covering 52 hectares with 32 completely dedicated to the spirit, it also has its own alembic still, with all maturation and bottling undertaken on site.

Producing over 15,000 bottles or 60 – 70 barrels annually with around 1,000 barrels kept in the storage cellars, visitors can enjoy vintages from every year since 1967 – note should be taken of Armagnac produced during the 1970s as high rain acidity helped create an incredible vintage. More recently, the Armagnac of Domaine de Sandemagnan ‘Hors d’Age’ was the gold medalist at the Paris 2013 Agricultural Competition.

The vineyard’s oenologist Max Dumolié will inspire history lovers with his Armagnac narrative during his weekday tours. Guests will learn about the 15-day distillation process and how Armagnac gains colour as it matures in oak barrels. A lesson on how it differs to Cognac and an opportunity to taste a variety of Chateau de Sandemagnan vintages, are fun additions to the class.

After a day exploring the vineyard guests can retreat to La Bastide’s 18th century charterhouse and indulge in one of two menus available for dinner. Menu one is developed to celebrate their ‘fine country cuisine’ with seasonal dishes such as Gascony black pig, roasted hare, soft cod with pine nuts and citrus crust; the second menu Santé-Nature embodies Guérard’s passion for healthy eating. The perfect digestif? cosy up next to one of the large open fireplaces and as dusks falls, the estate’s Armagnac completes the experience. Which significant year will you choose to drink between 1967 and 2017?

A Weekend in Armagnac Vineyard

  • One night in a Junior Suite including breakfast
  • A visit of the Chais followed by Armagnac tasting
  • Three course gastronomic dinner (excluding drinks)
  • One bottle of Armagnac Hors d’Age – Assemblage de Millesimes 1991-1999
  • Rates start from €475 (approx. £425) based on two people sharing.

Booking via the website or by calling +33 (0)5 62 08 31 00. For more information about La Bastide and its vineyard visit www.bastide-gasconne.com

La Bastide

La Bastide is a 25-room four-star hotel situated in the heart of Gascony overlooking the pretty spa village of Barboton. One of the Guérard portfolio, the hotel celebrates the very best in French cuisine, hospitality and spa. Surrounded by hectares of Guérard-Barthélémys’ Armagnac vineyards, the hotel is perfect for wine tourists and lovers of French gastronomy. Pilgrimage routes traverse the surrounding landscape making it a site of historical interest and an ideal destination for walkers. Lush gardens and an impressive 450 square metre spa with thermal waters that date back 20,000 years make La Bastide a perfect hotel for those seeking serenity and calm. Michel Guérard’s passion for healthy living is evident in the Santé-Nature Cuisine menu which embodies his belief that healthy food must be delicious.