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D’Ussé Cognac names Agathe Boinot cellar master

Agathe Boinot has been appointed cellar master of Bacardi and Jay-Z’s D’Ussé Cognac following Michel Casavecchia’s retirement.

Agathe Boinot, D’Ussé Cognac
Agathe Boinot hopes to “champion representation for women in Cognac”

Bacardi said Boinot’s appointment makes her the youngest woman – at 31 years old – to hold the cellar master position of the major houses in Cognac.

“In this position, I will champion representation for women in Cognac, who have played an important but largely invisible role. I aim to bring visibility to our work, inviting more women and younger generations to Cognac’s possibilities in the process,” said Boinot.

Paris-born Boinot is the second person to be appointed to the role of cellar master for D’Ussé, which was conceived by Casavecchia in 2012.

Casavecchia, who retired from D’Ussé last month, said developing the brand was an “honour”.

“D’Ussé has transcended the age-old conventions of Cognac and become a cultural icon under Michel’s tutelage,” said Boinot.

“He redefined the limits of the category and his lessons will be forever with me. Becoming cellar master is a great responsibility and I am honoured at the chance to uphold the brand’s heritage while bringing my own passions, expertise, and philosophies to the next chapter of D’Ussé.

Boinot studied oenology and has worked across vodka, whisky and gin during her career. She mastered the art of blending, ageing and tasting while working at Bacardi’s Château de Cognac, home to the D’Ussé and Baron Otard brands.

As an apprentice to Casavecchia, she has been preparing to take on his position for seven years.

Casavecchia added: “Agathe has worked tirelessly to understand the brand’s fundamental character and spirit. With her unwavering commitment to tradition and passion for new discoveries, I trust she will carry on this legacy and usher in the next generation with a courageous and contemporary sensibility.”

Jennifer Pisciotta, global vice-president of the brand, believes that Casavecchia has “left an undeniable mark on the present and future of Cognac”.

In February 2023, Bacardi acquired a majority stake in ‘multi-billion-dollar’ brand D’Ussé after a legal battle with rapper Jay-Z, who has retained a ‘significant’ ownership stake.

The Cognac range includes a VSOP and XO, which was designed to be served neat or in cocktails. In 2021, the brand released 1969 Anniversaire Limited Edition, which was produced from a single eau-de-vie and retailed for US$10,000.

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis data cited by Bacardi, D’Ussé is the fastest-growing brand in the Cognac category, gaining share over US competitors year over year.

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