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International Cognac Summit
21 janvier 2010
As part of the 2010 International Cognac Summit, mixologists from all over the world took a fresh look at cognac-based cocktails. In addition, the spirits consultant Jürgen Deibel was awarded the first ever “Cognac BNIC Educator” diploma for his work in promoting cocktails.

Cognac broker sues Charente Libre
20 janvier 2010
B. Bouyer, a cognac broker from Bassac, appeared in court yesterday In Angoulême, where he is suing the Charente Libre newspaper for libel. The verdict will be announced on 17 February.

Université des eaux de vie : 22nd year
20 janvier 2010
On 18 January the University of Wines and Spirits in Segonzac welcomed its 22nd year group, notably with 4 Chinese and 2 Russian students.

New director at BNIC
18 janvier 2010
Catherine Le Page, who takes over as director of the BNIC on 15 March, made a flying visit to Cognac on 15 January. She is a lobbyist by training and is currently working for the Var county council.

International Cognac Summit
18 janvier 2010
The third edition of the International Cognac Summit takes place on 18 January. 60 mixologists and journalists from all over the world will have to find a successor to the “Summit”, last year’s award-winning cocktail.

Pineau : duty withholding strike
18 janvier 2010
Pineau producers are determined to obtain “duty harmonization” from the government with a reduction in rates by aligning the duty they pay on that of flavored wines, and have started a duty withholding strike by refusing to pay the amounts due to customs. “Of the 214 euros in duty per hectoliter which we are asked to pay, we will only settle 45 euros. That corresponds to European taxation. The 169 remaining euros per hectoliter, which are added by the French government, will be paid into a blocked account.” explains Christian Baudry, the president of the national confederation of wine producers. Duty on Pineau des Charentes is 66 times higher than Martini and 4 times higher than sweet natural wines.

Consolidation in cooperage/stave splitting
14 janvier 2010
The Saury cooperage group (Corrèze), which owns the Leroi cooperage (former Martell & Co workshop) and Erable in Charente, is joining forces with the Charlois group, the leading stave splitter in France, based in Nièvre. The new group is aiming at annual production of 75,000 barrels, with a secure supply of 7,800 m3 of staves.

Tony Blair joining LVMH
14 janvier 2010
The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to be a consultant (not reporting to the executive committee) to Bernard Arnault and LVMH (luxury goods including Hennessy cognac), notably to penetrate the Indian and Chinese markets. The group already has Hubert Védrine on the board as an independent administrator.

Winegrower does his own distilling
14 janvier 2010
Alain Lebecq, at Criteuil-la-Magdelaine (Charente), is one of the 4,000 winegrowers who are also bouilleurs de cru, who distills his products himself. He had decided to become a doctor but he entered the profession after raising vine branches in a cousin’s vineyard at Sigogne twenty-two years ago. He delivers 99% of his production to Hennessy and sells the rest on his estate where he also sells pineau and vin de pays.

La Compagnie de Guyenne enters 2010 in confident mood
7 janvier 2010
La Compagnie de Guyenne, whose flagship brand is Meukow cognac, has started the construction work to transform its headquarters in Cognac, which will be open to the public in 2011. The work to expand the blending and bottling facility in Matha (Charente-Maritime) will be finished in March (investment in excess of one million euros). Since 1 January, CDG has been the distributor for the German liqueur Jägermeister (80 million bottles sold worldwide, including only 100,000 in France. It had sales of 36 million euros in 2008 (down slightly in 2009). Cognac accounted for 48% of sales in 2008 and almost 54% in 2009.

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