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Cognac is not made, it is created…
Jas Hennessy & Co, or simply Hennessy, is a luxurious cognac house with headquarters in Cognac, France. Jas Hennessy & Co. sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, or more than 40 percent of the world’s cognac, making it the world's largest cognac producer.
The Hennessy cognac distillery was founded by Richard Hennessy, an Irish officer serving in the army of Louis XV. The Prince of Wales, later King George IV of Great Britain, was a great connoisseur of cognac. He asked Hennessy to create a "very superior old pale cognac." Since then the initials V.S.O.P - Very Superior Old Pale - have been used as a benchmark for the entire industry. Gerald de Geoffre de Chabrignac, Richard Hennessy's nephew, created the now distinctive X.O flacon design. Inspired by the cognac Hennessy created for Czar Alexander I in 1818, Master Blender Yann Fillioux created Paradis Imperial. This cognac features a large proportion of eaux de vie from the Maison's 19th century reserve, creating a cognac of exceptional elegance, finesse and stature.
At Hennessy, cognac is not improvised. It is raised with kindness and attention, firmness and affection. First, there is the grapevine. It yields Ugni Blanc, the light fruity grape specially suited to Hennessy Maison's double distillation in great copper stills. To ensure the aromas will be both excellent and varied, only eaux-de-vie from the four great crus of the region (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois) are selected for the privilege of becoming great Hennessy cognacs.
Next comes the ageing time, a test of vision and imagination, since this phase can extend beyond an entire lifetime. In the Hennessy cellars, casks hewn from over 100-year-old oak trees, exclusively from French forests , stand in a dim light infused with heavy notes. A total of over 300,000 casks rest there. Hennessy is proud to have one of the largest reserve of cognac eaux-de-vie in the world. The Founder’s Cellar is in itself a symbol of this heritage, the time-defying heart of Hennessy Maison. Every single one of these eaux-de-vie has been aged for at least fifty years, and many are over a hundred years old. Once at the top of their potential, they are put in large wicker-encased glass demijohns to preserve their exceptional qualities. They will then be used to create the rarest cognacs. The oldest eau-de-vie dates from 1800.