The House of Rémy Martin: 300 Years of Excellence

Founded in 1724, Rémy Martin perfectly captures the essence of Cognac.

Feb. 2021Written by Kyle TrompeterPhotos provided by Rémy Martin

ivy vines cover the entirety of a bricked wall
master cellar baptiste loiseau inspects a raised glass of cognac in a snifter
green grapes glowing bright on the vine
hand grabs a leaf from the stem of grapevine where it meets the dirt
rows of stacked barrels piled high running the entirety of a room
burlap cloth is used as a natural washer between a cork and a barrel hole
glass of Rémy Martin on a bartop

Rémy Martin’s headquarters is housed right in the heart of Cognac, France, where for three centuries the brand has carried out its mission to bottle the spirit of Cognac.

Baptiste Loiseau, the Rémy Martin Cellar Master since 2014, has been charged with steering the brand towards the next generation of Cognac enthusiasts.

“Being a Cellar Master is the perfect combination of tradition and innovation,” Loiseau says. “Everything that has been transmitted by previous cellar masters has to be combined and explained to the new generation that I am part of. I credit most of my education to Pierrette Trichet, my mentor and former Cellar Master at Rémy Martin. She gave me a clearer vision of the aging process and the confidence to take on the role as Cellar Master. In addition of this transmission, I bring my own touch, respecting the style of the House.”

The distinctive flavors of Rémy Martin represent the unique characteristics the land in Cognac has to offer, which is an aspect Loiseau considers central to his approach to producing high-quality Cognac.

“It’s important to respect what our terroir has to offer,” Loiseau explains. “I’m always reaching for exceptional harmony in our final blends.”

What’s the secret to Rémy Martin’s success? One of them is growing vines in remarkably chalky soil, as the texture reflects the sunlight and helps ripen the grapes to perfection.

Eaux-de-vie, the fruit brandy used to make Rémy Martin Cognac, is one of Cognac’s most-celebrated elements and has almost unmatched potential for exceptional aging, which is why the Rémy Martin House ages its Cognac much longer than the minimum required by law. However, the longer-aging process comes with a very interesting disappearing act.

“During the aging process, a percentage of the eaux-de-vie evaporates into the air,” Loiseau says. “We call this ‘The Angel’s Share.’ Approximately the equivalent of 8,000 bottles evaporates every day!”

The oak trees used during the aging process are always at least a hundred years old and are carefully curated by expert coopers working under the direction of Loiseau. Prior to the wood logging its time as a cask, the wood is left out in the elements for nearly three years so nature can wash away what the brand calls “less-interesting tannins.”

Bringing the spirit of Cognac to life in a way that engages consumers across the globe doesn’t come easy. As Loiseau explains, his role requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and pure instincts to take the region’s finest grapes from the soil and guide it on a carefully executed journey into the bottle.

“For me the most important skill as the Cellar Master is to be curious and sensitive to aromas,” Loiseau concludes.

“You also have to be creative to do this job, because a cellar master is more than just the ‘guardian at the temple door’ that people often imagine. Above all, you need to be a visionary, because you must prepare the House’s future in the medium and long term. This requires constant work and constant self-questioning.”

Cognac, the legendary French brandy made from fruit exclusively grown in the Cognac region of France, is one of the finest and most versatile spirits in the world. While some consumers who find the category foreign assume Cognac is only a sophisticated sipper that requires an expensive cigar and smoking jacket to enjoy it properly, we’re here to tell you that is decidedly not the case.

Cognac is a wide-ranging category featuring entries suited for elevating cocktails to the next level, and of course, it’s got its share of top-shelf sippers.

One of Cognac’s most-respected representatives is the House of Rémy Martin, an operation that has been producing Cognac’s native spirit since 1724. Since the experts making Rémy Martin know the world of Cognac as well as anyone possibly can, if you have customers wondering how to get into the category, just pass along the advice of Baptiste Loiseau, the Cellar Master currently carrying the torch for the iconic House.

“I always like to tell consumers to first try our Rémy Martin VSOP,” Loiseau says. “Discover it neat first, and then try it with ginger ale or tonic, and you’ll find the perfect balance between fruity, spicy, and fresh notes.”

We hope you enjoy this peek behind the French curtains of Rémy Martin to learn more about how they produce a Cognac that has been celebrated and enjoyed for centuries.

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