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Cognac’s origins lie in the 16th century with the arrival in France of the Dutch. They bought plenty of French wine but struggled to keep their wine drinkable during its journey home, and thus began distilling it into eau-de-vie. The 18th century saw the formation of today’s famous Cognac houses, with Martell first in 1715, founded by Jean Martell from Jersey, with Rémy Martin following a decade later. By this time, Cognac houses were already buying brandies from grape growers and farmers, as opposed to making everything themselves from scratch. This is still the case in Cognac, with companies buying in grapes and eaux-de vie, provided it meets their strict standards.
Cognac has come to symbolise the finer things in life. Along with whisky, it has an aspirational image and is synonymous with class, elegance, and just a touch of swagger…
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