the best period
Autumn and Winter
An unmissable event in Gers' autumn season, La Flamme de l'Armagnac celebrates Gascony's iconic brandy and its distilling process. Armagnac producers open the doors to their cellars and celebrate around their stills... I set off to enjoy this special experience in the purest Gersois tradition!
Recommandé par Rémi
I began my weekend at the Château de Millet in Eauze, the Armagnac capital! When I arrived, I was struck by the beauty of the estate! How could anyone fail to be moved by this sublime vineyard landscape? The Dèche family welcomed me for a free tour of the cellars. I discovered all the skills of the winery, which offers a range of beverages from aperitif to digestif: Flocs de Gascogne, Côtes de Gascogne wines and the inimitable Armagnac!
I then took part in a tasting of the famous brandy, which had just come out of the mobile still specially brought in for the occasion, and was over 50°C! I needed several minutes to appreciate its fruity notes... My trip could not have gotten off to a better start!
I arrived on Place d'Armagnac, where I allowed myself to be swept along by the traditional light parade in the streets of Eauze! The procession was put on by the Akouma company, sharing its atmospheric and poetic world along the way, on the theme of travel and the flame.
With lighting, fire sculptures, a choreographed show and pyrotechnic effects, I was literally dazzled and let myself be swept along. The event ended with a splendid projection at the foot of Eauze Cathedral. What a spectacle!
Coup de coeur
Head to the antique store named "Objets autour du vin et de l'Armagnac" on Place d’Armagnac in Eauze, to discover a vast array of objects relating to wine, cellars and tableware. A grape press from the old days, decanters, blown glass bottles of 10 to 30 litres from the 19th century... all the richness of the local heritage is on display! They have some real little treasures that might end up beneath your Christmas tree..
After the parade, I headed to the Hall des Expositions for dinner. I first went to the starter workshops run by the "Tables du Gers" certified chefs, a guarantee of quality! I chose the oysters, which I was advised to enjoy with Blanche d'Armagnac, a perfect pairing! The next workshop offered a foie gras mi-cuit terrine, a dish which I savoured!
The main course was a foie gras escalope on a beef fillet medallion, the famous tournedos Rossini. Served with a Côtes de Gascogne wine, it was succulent! The selection of desserts finally convinced me that Gers really is a land of gastronomy. A sumptuous meal for barely €40!
After a day filled with discoveries, I headed to Le Castel Pierre, a charming 4-star hotel in Lagraulet-du-Gers, where I was greeted by the owners Céline & Julien. The rooms are named after famous grape varieties from Gers: Cabernet, Chardonnay, Folle blanche… This last one was reserved for me in fact! A spacious, tastefully decorated suite which, for €249, offers all the amenities I could have dreamed of! I couldn't resist trying out my own private sauna, for a lovely pampering session. Then I slipped under the comfortable sheets for the night.
After a restorative night's sleep, I went down to the breakfast buffet to get the day off to a good start with local products and Grandmother's jam selection! While I enjoyed breakfast, I got to know my hosts, who advised me to return to Eauze for the farmers' market. I took their advice, not forgetting to thank them for their warm welcome!
Review by Pascal, holidaymaker "Lovely place, perfectly renovated, with dynamic hosts committed to sharing their love of Gers. Lovely room, spacious, quiet and well decorated. Excellent bedding. A very warm welcome, which really made me want to come back! "
So there I was at a traditional Gersois market. The products on the stalls were already a feast for the eyes. As I chatted with the farmers, I learned that they'd come together under the Terra Gers® label, which offers a guarantee of local trade, and fresh, local products for sale direct to the public, all in the friendly spirit that is so typical of Gers!
I enjoyed learning their knowledge and hearing their explanations.I savoured the fresh fruit and vegetables and already started to plan a menu to serve to my friends when I got home with all those great products. In fact, my stroll gave me an appetite! Time to eat...
I set off to discover the Loft Café, an institution in the town of Eauze. I was met by Jean-Philippe, the restaurant's owner, who continues the family adventure that his grandparents started. So I was being welcomed by an enthusiast, an ambassador for Armagnac, who never ceases to reinvent it in all its forms.
Used in flambéing and deglazing, and as an accompaniment, the local brandy was the cornerstone of the meal! A subtly seasoned foie gras accompanied by raisins and walnuts, succulent lamb chops with homemade chips to die for, and a fromage blanc with peach and Armagnac made up my superb meal. I now have a new favourite restaurant!
After this exquisite lunch break, I only had to cross the square for a classical music concert at Eauze Cathedral. The line-up was enticing: 3 young talents from top schools performing the greatest classical pieces. From the first notes onwards, it was deeply moving.
Piano, violin and saxophone played together in a harmony seldom heard. Time seemed to stand still in the magnificent building! All good things come to an end, and I completed my stay in Armagnac with a cocktail in a friendly atmosphere.
La Flamme de l'Armagnac in Gers runs from October to the end of December throughout the Armagnac area. The experience described here took place in Eauze, the capital of Armagnac, which will be celebrating the flame on 24 and 25 November this year. If you too would like to enjoy the Flamme de l'Armagnac experience, click here to find out more, and don't hesitate to book your stay here!
Our suggestions Pour vivre pleinement votre expérience de la Flamme de l'Armagnac, retrouvez ici les bonnes adresses de Rémi (Destination Gers)
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