Welcome to our blog about our trip to France.

Distillerie DENOIX - Brive-la-Gaillardé

Distillerie DENOIX - Brive-la-Gaillardé

Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut!

Mark and I left the Dordogne and headed up towards the Berry region in the center of France on Friday. It’s about a 5 hour drive, so we decided to break it up with a lunch and provisions stop in Brive-la-Gaillardé.


The streets were eerily deserted. This is the main pedestrian shopping street at midday. France was actually in the middle of its worst heat wave in a decade.

The umbrellas reminded me of something from the 1960’s British show The Prisoner. I had the strangest feeling that we had been drugged and transported to an unknown location in Wales.


Intrepid Californians that we are, we braved the heat. First, lunch in a reasonably priced bistro.


Next stop, local chocolatier and patissier, Borzeix-Besse.


Inside, a very nice young lady gave us samples and invited us to enjoy the air conditioning. Sometimes, a chocolate shop is the best place to be on a hot day! I think we were her only customers so far that day because she gave us a bunch of free chocolate to take home.


We passed by the center of town on our way to the last stop, Distillerie DENOIX


The Denoix Distillerie was founded in 1839 and the same family has continued to make their unique liqueurs and “vin de noix” ever since.


You can visit the working still room where they give demonstrations and guided tours during July and August.


There is also a display of historical bottles of their famous infusions, many of which they still make today.


A huge ledger book showing their various accounts.


In the tasting room and shop next door, the walls are lined with casks of “jus de noix”, the green walnut juice used to make the various walnut concoctions. Traditionally, the green walnuts are harvested during the two weeks after “Le fete de Saint-Jean”. The unripe walnuts are pressed and the juice is aged in these oak caskets for 5 years.


These old fashioned bottles are beautifully presented on the tasting bar.


I tasted their two signature products. The Quinqui Noix is a sort of sherry like aperitif. The Supreme Noix is more of a traditional walnut liqueur, but more complex and less sweet than I have had before.


The tasting room and shop is full of all kinds of tempting liqueurs. I could have really done some damage here if I didn’t have to lug it all back to the states.

I’m so happy we came across this gem of a distillery in this out of the way part of France.