If you think being toured around a cognac estate, its production facilities, and being told about how Cognac is made is not the most entertaining thing in the world (or you’ve seen it a million times and it’s always the same), here is some news for you: Last weekend, while on a short visit to Charente, we did quite an exciting Cognac tour.
We arrived at Cognac De Luze, which is part of the impressive estate of the Boinaud family, and were warmly received by its Brand Ambassador, and the youngest addition to the De Luze team, Rémi Boinaud. Rémi joined the family business in 2011, after having spent time working in the wine business in California and Australia. He brings a waft of fresh air to the often still traditional Cognac industry. This is when one realizes that the young generation is slowly making their mark in the business, with new approaches, innovative visions, and an open and international outlook.
With fluent English, Rémi toured our group through the impressive estate of his family, which has been handed down from generation to generation for 200 years. The Boinaud family’s estate is the largest private distillery in the whole Cognac region, with 410 hectares of vines and 41 pot stills to produce eau-de vie. Their huge cellar boast an impressive amount of barrels and their “Paradis” the most exquisite vintages dating back decades. Seldomly seen, they also make their own barrels in the on-site “tonnerie”, a wood workshop where new barrels are built. The estate is in fact a small village, with old French residential houses spread across the production facilities. Rémi pointed out the house where his grandmother still lives to this day.
De Luze is a brand that dates back to 1822, and which was acquired by the Boinaud family in 2006. As the family has been a long-time supplier to Rémy Martin as well as to Martell, they cannot use their family name to make their own brand. This is why they bought an existing brand to make their own cognac. De Luze Cognac has flourished, since it is in the hands of these capable and highly experienced cognac producers.
The brand now has an innovative and modern outlook, with design and distribution strategies to target a wide consumership. Appointing Bob Eastham as De Luze’s International Director only underlines the intelligent approach the Boinaud family is taking, as it is still rare in the Cognac industry that foreigners are given such high-powered strategic positions. It seems strange, as we all know that Cognac sales mainly happen outside of France… It takes time to alter tradition, or rather to unite tradition with modern and innovative strategy.
As a highlight to our visit, Rémi showed us the De Luze bottle from 1848, which they managed to retrieve from a reader of Cognac-Expert some months ago. The reader was based in the UK and posted this old bottle he found in his mother’s wine cellar. The ancient bottle has proven to De Luze that the bottle shape of their current bottles goes back to the very original bottle design from the very beginnings of the brand. What a great confirmation to have, and thanks to Cognac-Expert!
So if you are ever in the region, we highly recommend a guided tour by the charming Rémi. It really opens up the world of cognac in a whole new way. And after a generous tasting, our guests could do some shopping as well.
Learn more about De Luze and their cognacs