The other day we discovered the Baccarat store close to the Place Vendome in Paris, and we were wondering: What is it about ‘Baccarat.’?

The name itself brings to mind exquisite creations of crystal and glass over the centuries.  The company was born in 1764 when the then King of France, Louis XV, granted Bishop de Montmorency-Laval of Metz the right to found a glassworks in Baccarat, a small village in the department of Lorraine in France.

Baccarat Store

By 1816 the factory was flourishing and employed some three thousand people, and it was in this year that the company began to produce crystal as well as glassware.  They gained their first royal commission a few years later, in 1823, for King Louis XVIII, and since then have created exclusive stemware and designs for various kings, emperors and presidents.

Baccarat are one of the worlds leading names for fine crystal, and along with their timeless tableware pieces, are also known for such diverse items as millefiori paperweights, chandeliers, rare sculptures, barware, perfume bottles, jewellery, and of course, cognac bottles and decanters.

One of the most famous of the cognacs is the legendary Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, a blend of eaux-de-vie aged between forty and one hundred years and lovingly encased in a hand blown Baccarat decanter.

Remy Martin Louis XIII

They also produced a limited run of two thousand bottles for Hennessey in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium.  This is called the Timeless Cognac, and is housed in an asymmetrical Baccarat bottle and blended from eleven of their finest vintages from the twentieth century.

Baccarat have also produced bottles for some of Camus Cognac blends such as the Camus Napoleon Cognac and Camus Jubilee Cognac.

Today, the headquarters of Baccarat is housed at the prestigious address of 11, Place des Etats-Unis, Paris.  This former private mansion used to be the home to Madame Marie-Laure de Noailles, famous for changing the décor and layout of the interior on a whim, and for holding much talked about galas and parties in the beautifully crafted grand ballroom. Baccarat also has subsidiaries in both New York and Tokyo, and the company continues to lead the market in both traditional and contemporary crystal and glass creations.

Sources: www.thewhiskyexchange.com, www.baccarat.com, en.wikipedia.org

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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