Capturing the Spirit of Cognac

Six members of the Circle of Wine Writers (CWW) traveled to Cognac, France from April 9th to 12th, 2018 to visit cognac producers from the designated growing areas of Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Dordogne.

A special thank you to our member Liz Palmer and the BNIC for organizing this amazing trip. Reports were written (and will be published shortly) by David Copp (UK), David Kermode (UK), Angela Reddin (UK), Jurgen Schmucking (Austria), Charlotte H.M. van Zummeren (Netherlands), and Liz Palmer (Canada), along with photography by Jurgen Schmucking and radio show program by David Kermode.

Along with meeting some wonderful people, we all had some amazing cultural and gastronomic experiences.

BNIC

On our first day, David Boileau, Ambassadeur du Cognac au BNIC gave us a presentation which included an overview of cognac production process, grapes, grades, producing regions, and 2017 export and economic figures.  This all took place at BNIC’s offices which was followed by a detailed tasting.

Six interesting takeaways are:

  1. 8% of cognac produced is exported;
  2. 4 million bottles of Cognac were exported in 2017, resulting in a turnover of €3.15 billion.
  3. Cognac is marketed to over 156 countries;
  4. Cognac’s 10 main markets include: USA, China, Singapore, UK, Germany, France, Latvia, Hong Kong, Holland and South Africa;
  5. Cognac exports have continued to grow in 2017 (three consecutive years);
  6. In terms of style, VS Cognac accounted for half of the Cognac shipments, with volume growth of 8.6%.

BNIC:  http://www.bnic.fr/cognac/_en/intro.aspx    

About Liz Palmer

Award Winning Author and Wine Journalist Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities. Liz Palmer’s articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler's Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017). Her Memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK), International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), The Fine Wine Reserve, and Les Dames d’Escoffier (President – Toronto Chapter). 2017 Awards: Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards 2017. On April 7th, 2017 she was awarded the title of “Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne at an official ceremony in Paris.

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