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RÉMY MARTIN DISTILLERY VISIT
WE VISIT THE HEART OF COGNAC TO DISCOVER THE SECRET OF THE SOIL
Photography by Craig Landale
Cognac is a true magical place that certainly gives Tuscany a run for its money. This small town with just a few thousand inhabitants is well-known worldwide due to a very popular alcoholic drink. One of the most sought after brands is Rémy Martin and we were extremely lucky enough to visit their estate, brewery, vineyards and house.
From dining in Le Club de Rémy Martin with food prepared by Philippe Saint-Romas, meeting cellar master Baptiste Loiseau and tasting Louis XIII straight from the barrel in a cellar which has been sleeping for over a century, we drew a great big tick on our bucket list.
Our tour guide on the trip to the Remy estate in Cognac was International Ambassador Lauren Beckett-Barbier.
Her passion and knowledge from the brand was extraordinary and she certainly turned us into true advocates of the brand. Here are 3 quick-fire questions with her which will give you a good understanding of Cognac.
Why is it only the town of Cognac that is able to make the Cognac drink?
“Cognac is protected by a French controlled appellation, meaning it is the only place in the world where cognac can be produced. It refers to the notion of “terroir”, a French word describing the soil, climate, and all the steps of the elaboration process defined by a decree in 1936.”
What makes Louis XIII so special?
“Louis XIII is the King of cognacs. A rarity, the exception. A century in a glass, it takes the passion of four generations of Cellar Masters to perfect the extremely harmonious blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie. Louis XIII is 100% from the most sought after growing region, the Grande Champagne, the origins of its unique aromatic intensity and incomparable length on the palate.”
What makes Remy Martin different to other Cognac brands?
“The House of Rémy Martin is the specialist of Fine Champagne Cognacs. Our almost 300 years of know-how combined with our continuous pursuit of perfection and innovation make our Fine Champagne Cognacs stand out from the rest.”
If that’s left you with a taste for more, read on. Since 1724, the House of Rémy Martin has been driven by one quest – to capture the Heart of Cognac: Fine Champagne Cognac. Rare grapes from the most sought after vineyards, traditional distillation methods, longer maturation in the casks, and all the heart and savoir-faire of the Cellar Master combine to create a cognac of unique harmony, opulence and length on the palate.
Only 17% of the cognac shipped from the region meets the legal requirements of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Fine Champagne Cognac. This Appellation recognises the unique quality of this blend from the two most sought after growth areas in the Cognac terroir.
For a long time, the house of Rémy Martin has exclusively blended 100% of its cognacs from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne grapes. Today, Rémy Martin possesses the most precious reserves of Fine Champagne eaux-de-vie, representing some 115 years of the vignerons’ craft.
“Releasing the aromatic heart of Fine Champagne is my life’s work. Distilling by traditional methods in small alambics, working in harmony with time, and exclusively nurturing the eaux-de-vie in Limousin oak casks enables us to reveal the aromatic intensity that can only be found in Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac.” - Pierrette Trichet Maîtrede Chai.
After 38 years at the House, Pierrette Trichet decided to hand the baton to Baptiste Loiseau at the beginning of this year. During the seven years of working together closely, Pierrette saw the qualities of a Cellar Master in Baptiste – a man known for his passion, commitment, his hunger for knowledge and his curiosity, as well as expertise and skills – attributes that are fundamental for taking on the responsibility of becoming Rémy Martin’s next Cellar Master.
“I am honored to be part of this lineage of Cellar Masters, who have passed on their secrets and expertise from one to another during the last century to ensure the consistency of Rémy Martin’s legacy will be continued. I’m looking forward to this new chapter and the great challenge to carry forward this tradition in the future.”
In 2013 a rare Louis XIII cask 42,6 was auctioned for an astonishing £50,000 at Dartmouth House in Mayfair for the charity ‘Chain of Hope’. Created in 1874 it has long been considered the most loved ultra-premium Cognac in the world affording it the title King of the Cognacs.
Aged for up to a century in unusual and exceptional barrels known as ‘tierçons’, requiring four generations of Cellar Masters to elaborate a single decanter. Each exquisite handmade Louis XIII crystal decanter is created by 11 expert crystal craftsmen and finished with 24-carat gold.
There are over 250 subtle aromas present in Louis XIII that an attentive taster might be able to identify over time, meaning that each encounter with Louis XIII is a fresh discovery. This creates the unique depth and luxurious intensity evident in each drop.