History of Cognac Jenssen
If the name seems Scandinavian, that’s because it is. Back in the early 1800’s thousands of Norwegians left their homeland for foreign shores. Most of them headed to the USA, but a good number arrived in France, including the family Jenssen, who settled in Cognac and made their life there.
The estate of Cognac Jenssen is made up of a complete hamlet – with some buildings dating back to the 1600’s. Cognac has been produced from the estate from at least the 1700’s – perhaps even earlier. In 1990, the families who owned La Maine Pertubaud decided to sell, and in 2001 it was purchased by a descendent of the long-ago Norwegian who had made Cognac his home. The new owner, Per Egil Jensen, renovated the whole village and created the brand Cognac Jenssen. In 2006, the estate was purchased by the Russian wine and spirits merchant Moscow International Winery (MMVZ).
Cognac Jenssen Today
Today, Cognac Jenssen not only produces a high-end range of cognacs, but also has embraced tourism as a sound business proposition. Tourists can stay in the newly restored houses on the estate, which overlooks the lovingly tended vines that stretch down the hills on all sides. Run since 2001 by Norwegian, Espen Soland, Cognac Jenssen relies not only on its production of eaux-de-vie, but the tourism industry as well.
The grapes on the estate are all Ugni Blanc and the brand aims for quality of the fruit over quantity. Their cognacs range from a VSOP through to their top of the range limited edition flagship product “Arcana.” The estate boasts top of the range equipment and the latest generation in harvesting equipment.
News, Products and Old Labels
Cognac Jenssen’s “Arcana” has been quoted as being one of the world’s top 10 cognacs. Bottled on demand, Arcana is presented in a hand-blown crystal carafe and presented in a wooden casket with a numbered and signed certificate of authenticity.
In early 2011, Andrei Borodin, who is behind the company MMVZ and was previously president of the Bank of Moscow, has been in the news for abuse of authority in a financial case. An international warrant was issued for his arrest in May.
Visit Cognac Jenssen
It is possible to visit the Cognac Jenssen estate, take a guided tour of the winery or spend a half day including cognac tasting and lunch. During the relevant seasons it is even possible to take part in the harvest (autumn) or distillation process (winter time) if you so wish.
These activities are on demand so contact the estate before arrival.