This week we (Sophie, Max and Marc) were really busy with visiting Baron Otard, Courvoisier, Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Hine and Martell. Read our article about Hennessy in the next days: How we discovered the vineyards and distilleries, cellars etc. we even did a tasting and blending session, created our own blend and took a bottle of our blend home.
And we were filming! We’ll publish a Cognac-Expert video interview series that features the above-mentioned houses – we’re really excited about the footage we have and it’s going to be a fun editing process.
First we went to Jarnac to visit Couvoisier’s Patrice Pinet, we did the interview in the Paradis cellar where weh ad weird light conditions (changing from blue to green to red etc.) but hey, it’ll be a unique one.
Then we continued with the largest cognac house Hennessy, discovered some vineyards, one of their distilleries, and the founder’s cellar and even did a tasting & blending session. We met with Olivier Paultes who is the director of Distilleries and guardian of the eaux-de-vie culture at the house; we actually drove to St. Palais sur Mer to meet him, as he was so kind to take some time during his holidays!
We also met with HINE’s Francois Le Grelle in Jarnac and discussed design and quality, their product range is really unique and we love the packaging. We also discussed the topic of vintage cognacs, a key element of Hine’s identity.
Next station was Martell’s Chateau de Chanteloup, some minutes away from the town of cognac. Here we met with the cellar master Benoit Fil, talked about taste and signature in general, the importance of Borderies eaux-de-vie for the house; and had a look at the Martell Trunk (La Malle). While I, Max, really love this toy, sister Sophie was a little bit more reserved about this object.
To finish we had an interesting exchange with the Deputy Cellar Master of Rémy Martin and Louis XIII, about the heritage of knowledge, the important things when it comes to learn from a cellar master, transmission of tasting knowledge – and we talked about Remy Martin VSOP Mature Finish and the „original“ Remy VSOP.
Not to forget that we also visited Baron Otard in the Chateau de Cognac – a fantastic castle right next to the river with really impressive cellars, rooms and a medieval atmosphere. We also tasted the Otard range and finally had the opportunity to find out more about the new brand D’Ussé.
We also met with some people of Mounier / Polignac – really interesting to see how they shape their new product line and identity. (Fun fact: Mounier’s Pineau brand Reynac controls most of the market in France, with a share of about 80%.)
As you might notice we were really busy and it was wonderful to have time for focusing on cognac. And only cognac.
Stay tuned for our video interview series. We’re working on it and it is going to be great.