Cheers-Nov-Dec 2016

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Page 33 of 63 34 • November/December 2016 ON THE ROAD France which produces the Cognac Ferrand, Pierre Ferrand and Landy Cognac brands, among other spirits. Cognac has three dimensions of terroir: geology, climate and exper- tise, given its long history of production, he notes. Cognac is 400 years old, says Bénédicte Hardy of Cognac Hardy, which was founded in 1863. That's young- er that the 600-year-old, Armanac, Cognac's spirit cousin which must be from Armagnac in the Gascony region of southwest France. But Cognac's volume is much higher: For every six bottles of Armagnac sold around the world, 100 bottles of Cognac are sold. Location played a large part in Cognac's growth, says Hardy, who represents the fifth generation of the family and took over the business 25 years ago. The Charente River in Cognac helped the spirit grow "because it was easy to transport; Armagnac was not as lucky," she notes. Interestingly, 96% of Cognac is exported; the French don't really care for it that much. "French people like Scotch," Hardy says. COCKTAIL TIME The Cognac industry is looking to boost the spirit's presence and consumption by promoting it for cocktails. The BNIC even developed a signature cocktail called the Cognac Summit, made with Cognac VSOP, sparkling French lemonade, fresh ginger and lime, served with an optional slice of cucumber. Courvoisier's spirits research and development/prod- ucts quality manager Joel Lavergne noted during a tasting that the VSOP was the best Cognac expression for cock- tails. "You need a strong spirit to mix." Some Cognac houses have even developed expres- sions specifically for mixing. For instance, Hine recently created H by Hine in response to growing demand for a cocktail-friendly Cognac. Hine's cellar master Eric Forget collaborated with the French Bartenders Association to develop the product. And Domaine Boinaud launched the A Deluze expres- sion especially for cocktails, says Bertrand. The company acquired the Deluze brand from Remy Martin about 10 years ago; it has been in U.S. since last year. COGNAC FOR A CAUSE The BNIC's La Part des Ange auction—the 10th edi- tion—featured 24 limited-edition carafes donated by Cognac houses. The luxury carafes were filled with rare, high-quality eaux-de-vies, aged and blended over many years. Chef Guy Savoy was the patron for this year's auction and dinner, held on the banks of the Charente River in central Cognac. About 700 French and international guests attended; the auction was also open to online bid- ders for the first time. The auction, held in partnership with the auction house ArtCurial, raised a record amount—265,700 Euros, or about $298,088—for the Fondation Apprentis d'Auteuil, an organization that has benefited underprivileged youth and the most vulnerable families for 150 years. Since 2006, La Part des Anges has helped a dozen charitable projects in the areas of employment, education, heritage or social. The money raised from the Cognac carafe sales in 2016 will provide young students at a hospi- tality and catering school with a new kitchen. The Cognac cellar masters who donated decanters for the 10th Part des Anges. 1st row: Gilles Merlet, Merlet; Yann Fillioux, Jas Hennessy and Co; Anne Sarteaux, Cognac Meukow; Isabelle Couprie, Cognac Gautier; Dominique Touteau, Delamain & Cp; Baptiste Loiseau, Rémy Martin; Edouard Normandin, Cognac Normandin-Mercier. 2nd row: Christophe Valtaud, Martell; Alexandre Gabriel, Maison Ferrand; Richard Braastad, Tiffon; Laurent Vallet, Château Montifaud; Olivier Blanc, Léopold Gourmel; Rémi Boinaud, J. Dupont Cognac. Top left from bottom to top: Michel Casaveccchia, Château de Cognac S.A.S; Patrice Piveteau, Cognac Frapin; David Croizet, Maison J.A. Renault; Jean-Philippe Bergier, Cognac Bache Gabrielsen. Top right from bottom to top: Eric Forget, Hine; Patrice Pinet, Courvoisier; Pierre Vaudon, François Voyer; Christian Guérin, ABK6, Jean-Edouard Godet, Cognac Godet. (Bénédicte Hardy, cellar master of the donor House Cognac Hardy, is missing from the photo.) Left: The Cognac Summit cocktail, made with Cognac VSOP, sparkling French lemonade, fresh ginger and lime. Right: Domaine Boinaud's donation to La Part des Ange (angels' share) charity auction of fine Cognacs. ©BNIC/JADE COMMUNICATION / GILLES DE BEAUCHÉNE

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