The Vendée offers terroirs between land and sea and authentic traditions. It promises you pleasant aperitif, oenological and digestive discoveries.
On the Vendée Wine Route, you will cross its vineyards, you will meet passionate winegrowers, you will taste original wines, with marine notes from the coast or the mineral flavors of the marshes. But there are also many other beverages from the Vendée region that we suggest you discover. From breweries to distillery, via the cellars, from aperitif to digestive, here are the typical drinks of the Vendée!
Photos © Guide de la Vendée unless otherwise stated
La Troussepinette, Trouspinette, Trousse-Pinète…, depending on the village, is a vermouth. That is to say a mixture of flavored wine and brandy. It is also called " wine of thorns " because this alcohol is flavored with black thorn. Black thorns are the young shoots of the blackthorn. They are macerated in brandy or wine. Each house has its recipe! The wine at the base of this aperitif is preferably a red Mareuil wine, but there are also variants of white wine. It is generally served as an aperitif, but some enjoy it as a dessert or in mulled wine, to warm up in winter. You will find this local drink under the brand " Kiki vendéen ".
Like the Troussepinette, the Chouanette comes from maceration in wine. But this time, it is red fruits, chosen according to the seasons, which flavor the red wine. Each producer has his recipe: strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, currants, cherries… It can be eaten plain, like a port, to be served chilled. It can also be used to enhance white wines or champagne, such as a kir. You can also combine it with other alcohols, brandies and fruits to make amazing cocktails or in original desserts.
In Vendée, you will taste good local and craft beers. In the Vendée countryside, the Brasserie Mélusine offers a range of conventional and organic beers, with unusual and ephemeral flavors. In the Marais Poitevin, the Brasserie La Cibulle uses traditional methods to obtain beers combining authenticity and originality. On site, great surprises await you… There are no less than 16 brasseries in Vendée!
Five wine-growing terroirs occupy the Vendée. They are grouped under the “ Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Fiefs Vendéens ”. These are mostly reds and rosés, but there are also a few whites.
Vendée viticulture began its history on the “ Côte de Lumière ”, as early as the Gallo-Roman era, thanks to the Romans, renowned for gourmets and lovers of good wines. The oceanic climate benefits the vines, the marshy lands are generous and the calcareous soils are favorable for rooting. On the coast, the vines of Brem benefit from the iodized air and produce fresh white and rosé wines, very popular with tourists during the summer.
It is the monks who develop the marshes into canals and develop viticulture throughout the Vendée region. The Mareuil vineyard has a privileged and central location in the Vendée, between the groves and the salt marshes of the coast. The red and rosé wines are fruity and delicious. The whites are rarer but interesting.
Chantonnay is part of the Vendée bocages, to the east of the region. On a geological fault, the slopes of Chantonnay are the highest in the Vendée, which provides the vines with exceptional sunshine. Red, rosé and white wines of character are produced there, with a characteristic mineral touch.
© Howard Bouchevereau
The Vix wine region is located in the heart of the Marais Poitevin, on the former island of Vix. The marsh forms a rich environment, with clay-limestone soil, composed of flint. The red wines of Vix are very distinctive. They are powerful and fruity.
At the edge of the Mervent-Vouvant forest and near the Marais Poitevin, the Pissote vineyard is the one most easterly in the Vendée. This terroir is specific, with a clay soil which forces the vines to take root deeply. It is also very localized. It occupies only one municipality and bears his name. Its rosé and white wines are fruity.
On the Wine Route, the Vendée Tourisme site offers wine tourism circuits in the various wine-growing regions (fr).
Liqueur des Chouans is a subtle blend of cognac and orange peel. It is an exotic drink, linked to port activity, because the Vendée does not produce cognac or orange. However, it is very significant of the opening to the world of Atlantic ports. Bitter orange is an excellent digestif and this drink will finish off a hearty Vendée winter meal with a delicacy!
Kamok is a liqueur based on coffee and beet alcohol, produced in Luçon, in the heart of Vendée. Its name is an anagram of " mocha ". If the recipe is a hundred years old, it is constantly being improved. Originally, it is a combination of several arabicas, alcohol and sugar. However, some ingredients are still secret… The older the alcohol and the more intense the coffee, the better the Kamok! It is often served for dessert, to enhance pastries or ice creams.
To appreciate the good products of the Vendée terroir, you need drinks to match and the Vendée has many assets to please you, in all moderation! In Vendée, you are going to feast...