We all know that Cognac has a global appeal, and with Scandinavia being an important export market it should come as no surprise to hear that on the 19th October the second ever CognacExpo is to take place.

But not only do the Norwegians and other Scandinavians love their cognac, but they region has important links and a place in history when it comes to some of the large (and smaller) cognac houses.

cognac-expo-norway

At Cognac-Expert.com we fully support anyone who does their bit for cognac, so we thought we’d find out a bit more about CognacExpo 2013, and the guys that are the driving force behind what we believe is the only Cognac Exhibition in Scandinavia (and perhaps the only one outside of Cognac in the world…).

A labour of love

The idea behind CognacExpo began when two friends, Nils Henriksen and Kjetil Hansen, were sharing a bottle of their favourite tipple back in 2011.  Discussing their passion, they were keen to learn more about cognac; but not only that, they wanted to share their findings with others as well.  And so the idea behind CognacExpo was born.

And we have to say, many a good idea has come about with good friends sharing a bottle of eaux-de-vie…

Combining their love of cognac and their homeland, they decided that they wanted to make something happen in their hometown of Bergen.  Cue a host of emails and telephone calls with various different cognac producers, as well as a fledgling relationship with Frode Harring, a Scandinavian whisky and cognac expert who is also the bar manager at the Grand Hotel Terminus in Bergen.

Together, the team decided to create the largest cognac-event in Scandinavia.  And the first of these took place last year on the 2nd June at the Grand Hotel Terminus.

Bigger and better in 2013

Delighted with the event, the guys then channeled all their efforts into making CognacExpo 2013 even more successful.  So, what’s on the menu for this year?

Well, firstly there’s a change of location.  The event will be taking place at the Grand Selskapslokaler, in the heart of Bergen, Norway.  More than 30 cognac producers are attending, including Hardy, Maxime Trijol, Delamain, Leyrat, A.E.Dor and Chateau Montifaud.  Of course, those who visit the exhibition will get plenty of chances to taste different cognacs, as well as the opportunity to talk to the owners, producers and importers of cognac to the Scandinavian shores.

As well as this, there will be a series of master classes presented by different cognac houses.  Here the visitor will be able to learn more about the intricacies of making, tasting and purchasing cognac.

Why Norway?

We know that Norway has close links with the production of cognac.  During the 19th century many Norwegian families put down roots in Cognac, and the likes of Larsen, Jenssen, Bache-Gabrielsen and Braastad forever intertwined the two nations thanks to their love of the brandy produced here.

Today, two per cent of the 100 million litres of cognac sold annually are bought in Norway.  This equates to a massive 0.3 litres drunk by every Norwegian on an annual basis (double that which is drunk in Sweden).

And on a personal note…

We’re always interested to get the story behind the motivation.  So we asked Nils Henriksen and Kjetil Hansen to tell us a little more about themselves, and why cognac is such an important part of their lives.

Both guys have full time day jobs.  Kjetil is a Key Account Manager in the oil industry, working at Mento A/S.  Nils holds a similar position in the bakery industry, working for Martens.  So their efforts in bringing cognac and CognacExpo to Scandinavia all takes place in their spare time, with the aim of making their event even the ‘greatest gathering of cognac enthusiasts and producers in Scandinavia.’

Naturally, everyone is welcome, and more information can be found at www.CognacExpo.com

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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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