As a young man, Thomas Hine left his native Dorset in England to make a life in France. Rumours have it that his family was involved in smuggling spirits between France and Britain. Thomas Hine was briefly imprisoned during the height of the French Revolution, however, not as a smuggler but as a suspected British spy. He then married a local woman and soon became the heir to her father’s cognac business in Jarnac. In 1821 he founded Thomas Hine & Co. His premature death at the age of 47, just one year after he had renamed the company, was a shock to the business, but because he had established such good company structures, it was not too difficult for his son Thomas Georges to take over. In fact, he did a very fine job at running the cognac house, introducing strong bonds with Russia, Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries.
With its family tradition, the cognac house remains to be in the hands of Hine descendants, all of who have a love for perfecting the art of cognac making. They obide by the motto of the founder that "less is more", so the current Hine cognacs are Hine Rare VSOP, Hine Antique XO, Hine Jarnac-matured Vintage Cognacs and Hine Early-Landed Vintage Cognacs, which is a relatively small range.
Hine is a very forward-looking business, continuously introducing modern strategies such as biological farming techniques. Their website shows an innovative approach and stands out in the industry. The cellar master Eric Forget makes sure to select exceptional years as single vintages, which is a much-treasured tradition in the house of Hine. It means that there is a selection of single year vintages dating back to 1957.
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For 200 years, the property of Hine Coganc on the banks of the Charente River stayed true to its traditional décor. Recently, British interior designer Russel Sage completely revamped the beautiful manor house with his eccentric experimental style.
Guided tours in French and English upon appointment. Contact Hine for reservations.