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The hidden charm of south-western France in winter

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FRANCE 24 takes you discover the southwest of France in winter, when all the tourists have long since gone home. Life has a different pace for those who live here all year round - we take you to meet some of them. 

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As winter arrives in south-western France, Jean-Claude becomes something of a hermit. He'll spend the next two months burrowed away in his distillery in Cognac, producing his brandy with great precision. He uses local stills from the Charente region, which means he can achieve a double distillation, making the flavours even more concentrated. 

Back on the surface and further west, the beam from the lighthouse on the island of Aix sweeps across the horizon. We meet a family who live at the bottom of the old radio transmission tower.

Far from the hustle and bustle of summer, the inhabitants here enjoy the cooler temperatures, the fishing and the tranquillity of the streets.

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