In 2018, visitors will be able to explore some of the mysteries behind Hennessy thanks to a new circuit at the historic headquarters in Cognac, France. The “From the Vine to Cognac” tour unfolds according to the rhythm of the seasons and the production cycle of eaux-de-vie. Guests will be granted behind the scenes access to exclusive areas that ordinarily are closed to the public, such as the vineyard and distillery, where they will gain new insight into the art of blending and tasting rituals. A unique multi-sensorial experience.
Available year-round, this new visit joins the existing lineup of guided tours that invites visitors to discover multiple facets of the House. Whether through a simple hour-and-a-half discovery tour or a hald-day immersive experience in the most restricted access areas, not to mention the gift shop, each visitor is sure to find the experience they seek by reserving on LesVisites.Hennessy.com.
“From the Vine to Cognac”: an exceptional private tour organizes in function of the seasons.
Following a personalized welcome at La Richonne, Hennessy’s seat along the Charente River, the visit begins in the Chai des Pavillons cellar, on the bank opposite. Here, visitors learn about the history of Hennessy, its age-old expertise and its global reach.
From there, the experience varies depending on the season and the harvesting cycle from grape growing to the production of eaux-de-vie and the aging process:
- the “Fall-Winter” visit highlights the distillation process;
- the “Spring-Summer” visit focuses on the vines’ growth cycle.
In “Fall-Winter”, during the distillation period (ending March 31st at the latest), visitors will discover the Le Peu distillery, the epicenter for the production of eaux-de-vie, where copper, wood, brick and fire work their magic. The house’s master distiller will reveal some of the secrets of their expertise, notably during “la coupe”, or the “cutting” phase. Each of the key steps in distillation is explained in detail: the wine, the first distillation “brouillis” and the head and tail – not to mention the heart – of “la bonne chauffe” (second distillation).
During “Spring-Summer” visits, fine weather makes it possible to visit the vines and meet the people who harvest them. At the Domaine de la Bataille, the guide will explain the vinification process, soil quality, crus and grape varieties in the Cognac wine-growing region. From there, visitors continue on to the Le Peu Distillery, were they will learn about the Hennessy’s distillation techniques.
Once back at the Hennessy headquarters in Cognac, the program continues with a boat crossing of the Charente river to visit the Chai de la Faïencerie cellar, the historic site for aging eaux-de-vie, before returning to La Richonne for a made-to measure tasting experience in a private salon. During the tasting, visitors will sample eaux-de-vie at various stages of the aging process in order to better understand the maturation cycle, culminating in an introduction to the art of blending as illustrated by two of Hennessy’s most renowned cognacs: Hennessy X.O and Hennessy Paradis.
Also on offer are three other tours timed according to the cognac making calendar in order to reveal the world of Hennessy in 360°.
Available year-round and accompanied by a private tour guide, Les Visites Hennessy feature a range of experiences that mix tradition with elements of surprise. Each includes the discovery of an authentic cognac aging cellar still in operation, the tasting ritual with two cognacs and culminate in the estate’s gift shop, the only place in the world that brings together this many Hennessy collections, limited editions and truly exceptional cognacs.
“Hennessy Signature”: Discover the world of Hennessy cognacs
A perfect blend of authenticity and modernity, guided by an expert this circuit allows visitors to discover the history, know-how and secrets of Hennessy in a streamlined, modern staging. The highlight of this visit is a tasting ritual that demystifies the process behind the crafting of Hennessy V.S and Hennessy V.S.O.P.
- Tasting of Hennessy V.S and Hennessy V.S.O.P
- Duration: 11/2 hours – 18€ per person
“Hennessy X.O Symbol”: The Hennessy X.O experience
After learning about the history, know-how and brand universe, the visitor will discover one of the House’s references dating back to 1870: Hennessy X.O. Over the course of a tasting, neat and on ice, with an ice cube specially developed to optimize the diffusion of the cognac’s aromatic notes, the visitor will gain a full appreciation of this emblematic cognac’s aromatic subtlety.
- Tasting of Hennessy V.S.O.P and Hennessy X.O
- Duration: 11/2 hours – 33€ per person
“Hennessy Exception”: A behind-the-scenes discovery of exceptional cognacs
A guided tour for a small groups that explores the history, know-how and universe of Hennessy. This circuit offers a behind-the-scenes look into the making of exceptional cognacs at Le Paradis, the cellar reserved for aging the house’s very old eaux-de-vie. It culminates in a private salon for a refined tasting ritual.
- Tasting of Hennessy X.O and Hennessy Paradis
- Duration: 2 hours – 75 € per person. Visit available only by reservation for a minimum of two people.
From April to mid June: Open from Tuesday to Sunday (except for May 1st). Visits: 9:45am to 5pm. Gift shop: from 9:45am to 7pm
From mid June to October: Open daily. Visits: 9:45am to 5pm. Gift Shop: from 9:45am to 7pm.
From November to March: Open from Tuesday to Saturday. Visits: 10:45am, 2pm and 4pm. Gift shops: from 10:30am to 12:30pm and 1:45pm to 6pm.
All year round guided tours are available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese. From April to October, tours are available in German and Russian.