Cognac sales rise worldwide
5 février 2003
Sales of cognac rose throughout the world by 6.3 % in 2002 to reach 122.7 million bottles (including 1/3 in the USA : +10 %) The second most important market for cognac is the UK but it fell by 7.9 %. France rose by 7.2% to third place, Germany (+5.3 %) is fourth, Japan (-5.3 %) is fifth, Singapore (+4.5%) is sixth, Finland (+34 %) is seventh Hong-Kong, in eighth place, fell by 19.6 % but this can be explained by an increase indirect sales to China. Overall the Far Eastern market rose by 6.7 %.
Cognac springtime cocktails competition
5 février 2003
Recently the Association of French Barmen (ABF) organized a competition for cognac springtime cocktails in collaboration with the BNIC. Nicolas Brimau, a barman from Tours, was the winner of the third edition of the competition, which took place before an audience of connoisseurs with the emphasis on innovation to promote cognac.
Viticulture : reduced income in the Cognac area
29 janvier 2003
According to the latest statistics from the BNIC, total turnover for producers in 2001 stood at 281.7 million euros compared to 332.5 million euros in 1986. While the total area of the vineyards remains stable at 80,487 hectares, the number of farms (14,270) has dropped by 42.8 % since 1981. 94.5 % produce white wine for cognac. Pulling up vines in this sector to counter over-production is continuing : 1,500 hectares will disappear this year. The production area will be reduced to 73,000 hectares compared to 78,000 five years ago. The production of pure alcohol reached 400,039 hectoliters (+3.9 %) of which 93.9 % was exported.
Of note : sales of Rémy-Cointreau (owner of Rémy-Martin, the second largest trading house) progressed by 1.2 % in the first nine months of 2002, without taking account of exchange rates fluctuations.
Cognac houses acquitted
22 janvier 2003
The Delamain, Hardy and Ragnaud-Sabourin cognac houses were acquitted by a court in Angoulême on 15 January. They were accused of misleading advertising and deception by referring to the age of the cognac on the bottle, which is forbidden by law. On the other hand, Xavier Charpentron, a wine grower in Gondeville, was fined 750 euros for misleading advertising. The court considered that the name of his wine "Moulin de Mérienne" is misleading in that the only "mill" on his land is a wind turbine.
Research into cognac
15 janvier 2003
The BNIC has its own research unit with financing of 3.2 million euros in 2002 for studies in collaboration with INRA (National Agricultural Research Institute) and State Education amongst others. twenty-one people are working on the future of cognac.
71 % of the harvest in the cognac area goes to cognac
8 janvier 2003
The wine harvest in the cognac area represents 8,578,718 hl of white wine on 73,759 hectares for an average production of 116.31 hl/ha, an improvement on last year but much less than the average over the last five years. Production is divided with 50.52 % in Charente-Maritime and 49.44 % in Charente ; 42.6 % of the production is in Fins Bois, 20.6 % in Petite Champagne, 17 % in Grande Champagne, 12.3 % in Bons Bois, 5.3 % in Borderies, 1.3 % in Bois Ordinaires. Only 0.045 % will be sold as vins de pays, 0.74 % will be used as must for pineau, 27.69 % for must and various juices and 71.53 % will be distilled to give 583,044 hl of pure alcohol. The viticultural station has allocated 3 million euros this year for research. The Chinese market is once again raising hopes.
Prosperous time for cognac
25 décembre 2002
The BNIC estimates that 25 % of annual sales are made during the end-of-year festivities. At Hennessy, 33 % of annual sales of all categories put together occur during the eight weeks leading up to Christmas. For the promotion of its new product "Fine de Cognac", JAS Hennessy & Co launched a 1 million euro promotional campaign in Germany and France at the end of November. At Otar, sales during this period represent 40% of annual sales. Special Otar packs are available for the end-of-year festivities. Courvoisier, for its part, is proposing presentation caskets. Martell, restructuring following its takeover by Pernod-Ricard, remains rather discreet. Finally, Rémy Martin has taken out full-page advertisements in several French magazines.
Rémy Cointreau : fall in the first half-year
18 décembre 2002
The wine and spirits group has recorded a larger than expected fall in half-year operating profits (-4.8 % to 93.2 million euros). However, sales of liqueurs and the upturn in champagne sales point to a better second half-year.
Courvoisier renews its contracts
11 décembre 2002
Courvoisier, the cognac producer based in Jarnac, has just renewed its supplier contracts (1,100 wine growers) for three years, until 2004.
Cognac houses in court
4 décembre 2002
Three cognac houses (Delamain, Hardy and Ragnaud-Sabourin) are accused by the Office of Trading Standards of "fraud and cheating" for having dated cognacs beyond the legal limit (10 years maximum). They risk fines of 12,000 to 6,000 euros. The court will deliver its verdict by 15 January. In another move, the public prosecutor in Angoulême has called for a fine of 10,000 euros against the Xavier Charpenton cognac house in Gondeville for having passed off its vins de pays (country wines) as AOC (controlled origin). It will also learn its fate in mid-January. Trade professionals claim that there was no deliberate attempt to deceive and they regret that "the image of cognac is being tarnished, which it could well do without at the moment".