Raison Personelle Cognac
Combining modern charm with age-old production methods, Raison Personelle is a Cognac that was created from scratch by Sabine and Bertrand de Witasse, a pair of winemakers residing in the Charente region. With two copper stills - one of which is wood-fired - they distil eaux-de-vie which they age for nearly two decades before bottling. They only release one cask at a time, resulting in an output of fewer than 500 bottles a year. Labelled by hand, each bottle of Raison Personelle Cognac is a true labor of love, evidence that hard work really does pay off.
Visit Raison Personelle: By request, the distillery can book in personalised visits to their Cognac house and vineyard.
Phone: +33 (0)6 84 85 56 97
In 1994, Sabine and Bertrand de Witasse left their home in Paris and headed to the Charente region with a dream to become winemakers. Their ‘personal reasons’ - raison personnelle in French – has led them to successfully operate a 20-hectare vineyard in the town of D’Angeac-Champagne, in the heart of the prestigious Grande Champagne country.
Raison Personelle Cognac is made the classic way, from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes and aged in French oak - but here ends the similarity to most producers. One of the two copper pot stills here dates back to 1935 and is still fired by wood, a technical and time-consuming effort. In fact, Bertrand has mastered the technique so well that he is now able to have both stills working at the same rate. Sabine and Bertrand also make it clear they don’t like to rush Cognac production when it comes to their maturation and bottling; all Raison Personelle Cognac is aged for nearly two decades before being bottled, and only one cask, providing fewer than 500 bottles, is released per year. Each bottle is filled at the distillery and numbered by hand - making this a small, but effective, in-house operation.
Passionate about their work, charming and hard-working, it’s not difficult to like Sabine and Bertrand. Their skills were learnt from scratch when they arrived at their new home in the Charente, from winemaking, distillation and ageing, to climate concerns, diseases and soils. This is of course not including the intricacies of running a production facility, bottling, labelling, packing and exporting products - which is a business in itself!
With a combination of perseverance and help from their neighbors and friends, Sabine and Bertrand managed to pull everything together and finally fulfil their dream being winemakers. These quirky producers have truly followed their own path, avoiding the temptation to cut corners and instead choosing to adopt some extraordinarily complex methods of Cognac production. To top it all off, their Premier Cru Cognac expressions provide incredible value for money. We eagerly await what will be released in the future from the folks at Raison Personelle, cask by cask, year by year.
Visit Raison Personelle: By request, the distillery can book you a personalised visit to their Cognac house. They recommend calling first, as the boss is usually found somewhere in the vineyard.
Phone: +33 (0)6 84 85 56 97
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