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478km (297 miles) SW of Paris; 37km (23 miles) NW of Angoulême; 113km (70 miles) SE of La Rochelle

The world enjoys 100 million bottles a year of the nectar known as cognac, which Victor Hugo called "the drink of the gods." It's worth a detour to visit one of the château warehouses of the great bottlers. Martell, Hennessy, and Otard welcome visits from the public and even give you a free drink at the end of the tour.