The Man who helped Save Cognac’s Cultural Heritage Single-Handed

Cognac Expert has met an amazing man: Paul Ronne.

This 87 year old Parisian electrical engineer who came to the Charente in the mid-50s had spent the last 25 years building up the most incredible collection of thousands of Cognac labels, documents, posters, postcards, playing cards, fans, ash trays, miniature bottles, glasses, pen-knives, showcards, carafes, dummy bottles, old letters and invoices, and thousands of other ‘objects publicitaires’.

Paul Ronne (standing) in one of his rooms, showing boards

This came about, at the invitation of the heads of several Cognac houses, visiting their archives and attics to save these historical items before they were scrapped. When we say amazing, it’s beyond belief!

Boxes, boxes, boxes

Over 35,000 different Cognac labels, for example. Just go to his site to see what we mean. (If you want to see more, take the time to browse all over his site, especially ‘Click here for more discoveries’).

Gigantic mini bottle collection of cognacs

And there’s even more on the French version of he site. Paul adds daily from his collection to the site, such as some from the thousands of letters and invoices showing the fabulous old art of letter-head engraving.

Boxes filled with labels and documents

What this man has in his head is beyond comprehension. He is a living, breathing historian and archivist on everything to do with Cognac. He is unique, indeed a treasure.

Old cognac merchant documents
And the most incredible thing? He gave, yes gave, almost all of his collection to the Ville de Cognac when in 2004 they opened the celebrated Musée des Art du Cognac. Although that seems to have been forgotten by the new regime.
Paul Ronne's work station with various collector bottles

This most generous act can never be properly appreciated. And today, as a result of Paul’s energy, the Cognac houses value their archives and collections far more than they ever did in the past.

Having been given Paul’s permission we will feature images from his collection.
Just incredible. Paul Ronne is the secret king of cognac.

Comments (7)

  1. Charles June 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Je love it! We should name a blend after his name 😉

  2. sigo23 June 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Fantastic, he deserves multiple medals. Is there a book featuring this collection? The museum should do one, or the BNIC? Or together/

  3. Cognac Expert June 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    There should be a book about his collection, about his knowledge – absolutely. It seems to be totally obvious.

  4. cognac@brandyclassics June 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

    As serious collectors of old cognacs and labels we would be very imterested to see and indeed buy some of this obviuosly fine collection. Please contact us for further information. DB

  5. clover June 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I do not think that Paul is interested in selling collector items. He is a real cognac culture lover, but is not interested in money. Visiting him is a different story..

  6. sigo23 June 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Correct, my understanding too is he does not sell anything. Send Paul a message via the Livre’d’Or/Visitors Book on his site to see if a visit can be arranged. Now that he’d appreciate….

  7. Dede Heath August 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    What & where is his web site, mentioned by Kyle Jarrard, International Herald Tribune?

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