A de Fussigny cognacs are beautifully elaborated in the company’s own distillery, founded in 1814 in the historical center of Cognac, France, on the banks of the Charente River. The river proximity creates a perfect hygrometry in the cellars and accordingly excellent aging conditions. The house hallmark is to combine traditional elaboration methods with a very modern and innovative packaging and brand image. The proximity to the river make for perfect hygrometry and allows the aromas of the to unfold. The product design is extremely different to that of traditional cognacs, the information on the cognac, such as age, name, percentage etc. is handwritten on the label, which makes it very personal.
Owned by Francis Abécassis, ABK6 is a young cognac house based at the Domaine de Chez Maillard near the village of Claix. Its 250 hectares of vineyards produce high quality eaux-de-vie, which are used to blend this contemporary cognac. The goal of this label is to introduce a young and modern spirit to the traditional drink and at the same time value the quality. Not only its name, an abbreviation of the owner’s name, but also its blog, facebook and twitter pages show the target group of the company. ABK6 owns its own brand as well as the brands Leyrat and and Réviseur. Together, the three brands of the company have been awarded over 60 awards in the past years.
The vintage eaux-de-vie of A.E. Dor are one the few that are left from before phylloxera struck the region in 1874. Adapting to current developments in the cognac industry and the luxury market in general, the company, today headed by Jacques Riviere, have launched a new range of products that target a wider and more international group of consumers.
This small family-run cognac producer from Berneuil insists that their cognac is not merely of standard quality. This can be validated by the fact that the Petit family works with traditional methods handed down form their grandparents and harvest the grapes manually. This is almost extinct in the cognac industry due to growing demand and the production of high quantities. André Petit came to some sort of fame in the industry by stopping their contract with Hennessy in the 1960s and deciding to produce themselves. Like many small producers from the Cognac region, they also specialize in the making of Pineau des Charentes.
Cognac Ansac is part of the larger company, Jules Gautret, which is in turn part of the much larger co-operation UniCognac. The cognac made by Ansac is produced from grapes from both the Petite Champagne and Fin Bois regions of Cognac. Producing three different grades of cognac, the house has a history that dates back to the year 1847.
When Time Magazine reported that ‘the best cognac you’ve never heard of is Audry’ back in 2005, this small, artisan cognac house was catapulted into the limelight. Since then, their products have become known in countries throughout the world – including those in Europe, Scandinavia and North America. However, just because a few years ago the name of Audry Cognac had not really been heard of outside of France, this does not mean that the house doesn’t have a long and illustrious history. This family run cognac house has a story that dates back to 1878.
This may come as a surprise, but Cognac Augier is the oldest of all the existing cognac houses. It was established in 1643 by a wine merchant, during a time when the region was still finding out about the potential of its grapes, wine, and distilled eau-de-vie. No one knew at that time what a success story Cognac would soon have worldwide.
Bache-Gabrielsen is a medium-sized family-run cognac house with an international history. The cognac house is looking forward to its upcoming 100th anniversary, with the creation of the company in 1905. With its clean design, Bache-Gabrielsen takes an important position in the cognac market, exporting mainly to Scandinavian countries. Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen, the fourth generation head of the company, is well aware that the cognac industry is undergoing changes, with the international market being heavily developed and marketing strategies refined to cater a younger, trendier consumer-base. Considering the size of the business in comparison to the big cognac houses, it is surprising to find out that it holds the market leadership in cognac sales in Norway!
The vines of Bel Ange Cognac cover 23 hectares of prime Petite Champagne countryside. Four generations of knowledge has been handed down over the years, and today this independent vineyard produce both cognac and Pineau des Charentes. Owned and run by Dominic and Aymeric Lheritaud, they continue to produce eaux-de-vie in the traditional methods, offering a small but quality range that is sold directly to the public.
The family cognac house of Bernard Begaud covers 16 hectares of Fins Bois terrain, and is located about 13 kms west of the city of Cognac. The art of producing wine and cognac has been handed down through three generations since 1895, and today is in the capable hands of Bernard and Chantel Begaud. Offering a range of cognacs to suit all pockets and palates, this artisan house creates their wares in a strictly traditional manner, yet has embraced the power of modern technology as an outlet to increase both awareness and sales. The current owners take full advantage of the knowledge and expertise handed down through the generations to ensure that their cognacs and other products are of the highest quality possible.
Boasting over two centuries of history and four generations of wine growers and producers, the house of Bernard Boutinet produces a range of cognacs to suit all palates. Located solely in the terroir of Fins Bois, this artisan estate sells its wares directly to the general public. Their brands are easily spotted by the use of the region’s ‘La Caleche’ emblem on the classic style labels that grace the front of all its bottles and decanters. Staying true to the traditional methods of creating the finest eaux-de-vie, Bernard Boutinet Cognac is regarded as a producer of a small but distinguished range of good quality cognacs.
This family run cognac house was created in 1848 and is located in Domaine du Feynard. An artisan producer, the family invite you to sample their small range of quality cognacs, created with respect for tradition and an ancestral know how passed down through the generations. When François Bertrand started tending his 2 hectares of vines inherited from his father, Louis, all those years ago, little did he know that today - 7 generations later - his descendents would be doing the very same, but now working with over 110 hectares of vineyards.
The estate of Cognac Birius covers 23 hectares of Petite Champagne vineyards at Biron, in the Charente Maritime. Today the vineyard and cognac house is run by Anne and Philippe Bouyer, direct descendants of the original vineyard owners. Although small in area, Cognac Birius produce a range of cognacs, along with wines, liqueurs and Pineau des Charentes, which they both export and sell directly to the public.
Birkedal Hartmann is a rare example of a successful cognac house that today collaborates with producers and master blenders rather than producing its own eaux-de-vie. This allows Birkedal Hartmann to focus on modern marketing and distribution strategies, as the production is entirely outsourced. This does not however imply that the tradition of the house, founded in the late 1800s, has been neglected. On the contrary: With its extremely smart marrying of traditional and contemporary culture, the cognac house Birkedal Hartmann managed to be amongst the first to launch a product with US celebrity rapper Ludacris. The cognac called CONJURE has shown to be a huge success in the US market, positioning Birkedal Hartmann as one of the most innovative cognac companies today.
Founded by Alexandre Bisquit in 1819, the house of Bisquit, with its home at the Château de Lignères by the banks of the Charente River, had a long-standing family tradition until the house was sold to Pernod Ricard in 1966. Said to have been among the favorite cognacs of Winston Churchill and King George IV, it is popular in the Anglo-Saxon countries and hence was bought by the South African group Distell in 2009. Renault Bisquit Bisquit Dubouche & Co (owned by Distell Group).
The artisan house of Blanleuil et Fils Cognac covers 30 hectares of prime Grande Champagne countryside. It’s a family run affair, resourcefully not only producing cognac but also offering holiday gite accommodation, tours of the vineyards and wine tastings. The estate, known as Chez Beillard, is recommended on ‘Les Etapes du Cognac’ – the tourist trails that criss cross this wonderful region of France.
Epitomizing the true concept of a micro-artisan cognac house. Bourgoin Cognac is all about a true passion for the land, the vines, the wine and, naturally, the creation of the ultimate product. This family run estate is located in the village of Tarsac, where this small, close-knit group work tirelessly to bring to market a small but quality range of 'must-taste' cognac delights.
Bowen Cognac has a romantic backstory, coming into being through a man’s love for a woman combined with all the excitement of travel and intrigue. Known as much for their miniature sized cognac bottles as the regular, Bowen produces a range of different qualities, including an interesting ‘Pale Cognac’ specifically produced to be mixed with tonic or savoured on the rocks.
In the heart of Grande Champagne in the village of Jarnac lies the impressive Chateau de Triac. The chateau is the home of Cognac Tiffon, to which the cognac brand Braastad belongs. Rubbing shoulders with other famous cognac houses such as Bisquit or Courvoisier, the brand Braastad was created when a Norwegian named Sverre Braastad married into the Tiffon family. Known for their devotion to the traditional cognac producing methods, today the whole process is still carried out at the family premises, and Cognac Braastad’s products are renowned worldwide.
Proud of its family tradition, Brillet Cognac insists that the history is entirely linked to that of cognac. As early on as 1656, Guy Brillet installed his first alembic (the classic still) at his property in the Grande Champagne. This was the introduction of the double distillation process that creates cognac to this day. The Brillets live off their philosophy that things made with care are more valuable, sticking to traditional techniques of production and packaging. Their motto is not to impress through high maintenance or expensive containers, but rather through a humble and high quality aesthetic: a real family business!
With a history dating back to the late 1700s, the small family brand of Brugerolle Cognac has been protected by becoming part of the Compagnie de Guyenne (CDG), created by Cognac Meukow in 1969. Brugerolle Cognac was incorporated into the CDG in 1987, allowing their cognacs to continue to be produced in the traditional manner and sold under the Brugerolle label.
Since 1863, five generations of the CAMUS family have cultivated a single-minded passion for crafting great Cognac with their own style. With 180 hectares in the smallest and rarest AOC cru - Borderies - renowned for producing eaux-de-vie with an intense floral bouquet and excellent ageing qualities - the Camus family has always been deeply involved in winemaking and distilling. It is this unbreakable bond between the land, the traditions and the men who live on it, that helps craft superb Cognacs. In 2000, the House premiered with the first ever 100% Borderies XO Cognac. A solid success, it was to become the Camus signature Cognac, offering an outstanding combination of violet and vanilla spice aromas of intense velvety smoothness.
Camus Elegance range is a bold illustration of CAMUS’ Living Tradition with Cognacs that truly respect the original character of the eaux-de-vie and are remarkable for the finesse of their blends. In its ongoing search to explore the diverse regions of the Cognac appellation, CAMUS became the first Cognac House to capture the unique marine notes of the Ile de Ré vineyards. Raised and aged on the island, Camus Ile de Ré Cognacs typically offer fresh iodine notes with hints of dried fruit with archetypal mellow softness. Produced in limited quantities, they offer a rich and unique taste experience. Camus also proposes a Masterpiece collection of rare, limited cuvées, each consisting of a unique, exceptional blend presented in spectacular cases as well as Rarissimes vintages of most extraordinary Cognacs - certified under bailiff’s supervision and bottled without reduction, allowing them to express the full strength of their aroma and character.
In the depths of Saint-Jean d’Angely lies the historic 17th century cognac estate of Chabasse. This family run business today lies in the capable hands of Réné-Luc Chabasse, the ancestor of the founder of the family estate, Jean-Baptiste Chabasse. Chabasse Cognac is enjoyed around the globe, and today the house enjoys making the most of both the traditional and the contemporary – something that is portrayed in the striking shapes and designs of the bottles the cognacs are presented in.
The cognac house of Charpentron is a traditional and family one, and has been passed down the line from father to son, mother to daughter, for ten generations. The estate, known as Clos de Merienne, covers 178 acres of prime Grande Champagne countryside, with 74 acres of these covering the hills around the estate as vineyards. With such a long history, it’s perhaps no surprise that the cellars of Charpentron boast some very old cognacs, some of which are 100 years of age or more.