Vintages “the way forward for Cognac”

11th July, 2011 by Alan Lodge

Cognac Frapin has accepted that vintage releases are the way to generate growth in the Cognac industry.

The house, which has already produced vintage releases from as far back as 1888 alongside its blended products, has seen that consumers in emerging and growth markets such as Asia prefer to understand more about the exact age of their drink.

Speaking to The Spirits Business at the Frapin distillery, Wilfred Schuman, export manager for Europe, said: “There’s been a big change in the dynamic of the industry in terms of areas we can target for growth.

“One of them is definitely vintage releases as that, I am sure, will be the future of Cognac.”

Aside from Asia, there are other particularly strong markets for Cognac across the globe currently, though Schuman pointed to two in particular.

“There’s a massive demand for Cognac in Scandinavia,” he said. “In Norway and Sweden in particular, the Cognac shelves are often just as large and busy as the whisky shelves.

“Obviously we must not stop catering for our older markets like the US, the UK and here in France, so of course we will continue to produce our blended Cognacs, but we may well have to release more vintage releases alongside them.”

Meanwhile the town of Cognac was currently in party mode last week as the Cognac Blues Passion festival brought thousands of visitors to the town for four days of music both at the main venue and at various stages across the town centre.

Eric Touchat, spokesman for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) told db: “It is getting bigger every year and more and more people are coming to Cognac from all over. Of course they are here for the music and the atmosphere, but we see a lot more money coming into the town and people show a lot of interest in the Cognac produced in the region.

“While they are here many take at least one tour of a Cognac house, and that’s a good way of bringing more people into the category.”

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