The Cognac industry certainly isn’t the only sector that’s dragged its heels when it comes to equality and diversity. However, the profession is—thanks to the tenacity of some amazing and talented females—opening its eyes to the fact that women are truly on a level playing field when it comes to the creation and marketing of Cognac.

International Women’s Day: The Changing Face of Cognac

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Fanny Fougerat (of the Cognac brand of the same name), staged a gathering of some 16 ladies, all of who are recognized for their passion, abilities, and creativity when it comes to all things Cognac and Cognac-related. And we’re delighted to say that our very own Sophie was amongst them. 

International Women’s Day: The Changing Face of Cognac
Sophie (far left) at a gathering of influential women in Cognac for International Women’s Day 2020 (Photo: Julie Desbois)

From left to right:

  1. Sophie von Olfers: co-founder (read about us)
  2. Geraldine Landier: Managing Director Cognac Remi Landier
  3. Anne Frangeul: Founder of
  4. Nathalie: Sales La Cognatheque
  5. Benedicte Hardy: Hardy Cognac
  6. Christine Croizet: Journalist and educator
  7. Alice Burnez: Prunier Cognac
  8. Fanny Fougerat:  Fanny Fougerat Cognac
  9. Sabine de Witasse: Cognac Raison Personelle
  10. Marion Duband: Maison Artonic
  11. Gaelle Porchet, Pineau Porchet
  12. Nathalie Egreteau: Cognac Hardy Europe Manager
  13. Isabelle Couprie: Cellar Master ABK6 Cognac
  14. Amy Pasquet: Pasquet Cognac
  15. Julie Fouassier: Courvoisier
  16. Axelle Grosperrin: Cognac Grosperrin

Giving Cognac The Much-Needed Feminine Touch

Eau-de-vie in 2020 is embraced by a very different audience than that of years gone by. Cognac is enjoyed in clubs, with mixers, in cocktails, and we’re far more experimental in our choice of drinks. Ladies are far more likely to select Cognac as a drink than they were in the past. The rise in female cellar masters, producers, and those in positions of authority within the industry adds delightful new facets for everyone to enjoy.

International Women’s Day: The Changing Face of Cognac

The event took place on Thursday March 5th at the distillery of Fanny Fougerat Cognac near St-Sulpice-de-Cognac. Of course, the event included plenty of tastings (each person bringing a bottle of their choice) and a great networking opportunity.

International Women’s Day: The Changing Face of Cognac
Benedicte Hardy, Axelle Grosperrin (with the barrel) and Fanny Fougerat (at pot still)

A Global Celebration

So on this International Women’s Day on 8th March 2020, why not sample a Cognac that’s come into this world courtesy of a female influence. Of course, while brands aren’t might not be wholly created by women, it’s great that more and more now have a forceful and charismatic female influence firmly in the mix.

Discover More Brands That Benefit From Dynamic Female Influence

  • ABK6 CognacCEO Elodie Abecassis not only heads this well-known house, but also the smaller craft brands of Le Réviseur and Leyrat Cognac.
  • Cognac MeukowAnne Sarteaux is master blender of Cognac Meukow since 2007, a female pioneer in the field.
  • Remy MartinWe can’t fail to mention the Cognac behemoth, being as ex-cellar master, Pierrette Trichet, definitely stands out as a trail blazer for women in the industry
  • Monfleurie Cognac: Created by a woman specifically for women, Olga Otrokhova released this premium Cognac in 2019. 
  • Cognac Birius: One of the youngest cellar masters in Cognac, Elodie Bouyer of Birius Cognac was our choice of producer for the second in our own limited edition series, Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2.

Read our 2019 post about our selected Maître de Chai of Cognac (female cellar masters of Cognac).

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Sophie is co-founder of Cognac Expert and lives in Charente, France. She is a passionate supporter of small and medium sized Cognac houses and artisanal producers. Her background is in contemporary art.

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