The story of the Hennessy began with one man’s vision. An Irish officer in the service of the King of France, Richard Hennessy foresaw the extraordinary international commercial potential of Cognac’s eaux-de-vie. In 1765, he set up his own business and founded a House that has since met with unequaled and unwavering success.
That success is the result of a constant quest for excellence in the creation of exceptional cognacs, coupled with an ambitious business development strategy. At the end of the 18th century, Hennessy began to extend its reach across the globe, starting with the United States. At the beginning of the 19th century, the House set its sights on Australia and Southeast Asia and later conquered the South American, Japanese and Chinese markets. In 1860, a quarter of cognac exports bore the name Hennessy name.
In the 20th century, the work begun by the House’s founder was continued. A million cases were shipped in 1967, and the figure had doubled to two million just 20 years later. With over eight million cases sold in 2019, Hennessy is now the world’s leading premium spirits brand, present on every continent and in over 160 countries.
Today, Maison Hennessy is the unrivaled market leader and the world’s top premium spirits brand. Based in the heart of the Charente region, Hennessy is also a steadfast pillar of the regional economy, the standard-bearer for a sector rich in expertise. The House’s success and longevity are rooted in the excellence of its cognacs, each of which is born of a unique process of transmission from generation to generation.
The first spirits house to be certified ISO 14001, Hennessy unites its capacity for innovation and the support of all of its partners to protect this exceptional area.
As the crown jewel of the LVMH Group, Hennessy is a major contributor to French international trade, with 99% of production sold in export, and a worldwide ambassador for the French art de vivre.
From vine to bottle, cognac is the epilogue of a three-part story – selection, aging and finally blending – that takes place in Cognac and nowhere else. To ensure the excellence and variety of its aromas, Hennessy exclusively selects the best grapes from the four grand cru regions of the AOC (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois).
After double distillation in copper stills, the eaux-de-vie are stored in casks made of French oak. Hennessy possesses the largest reserves of cognac eaux-de-vies in the world, with over 470,000 casks resting in its cellars.
Lastly comes the art of blending. At Hennessy, this art has developed over time, and has come to define the House’s identity and vision. For over two centuries, eight generations of master blenders from the Fillioux family have devoted their lives to creating exceptional cognacs, to enriching the House’s heritage and to passing it on to their descendants.
A member of the Fillioux family, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, still chairs the tasting committee. Heritage and savoir-faire, combined with intuition, guide them each day in the creation of subtle, timeless cognacs.
Les visites hennessy
Located on the banks of the Charente river in western France, Hennessy’s historic seat is open for visits year round. Hennessy is reinventing guided cognac tours to offer an innovative, multi-sensory experience. It is an invitation for the curious to go behind the scenes of the Maison. Authentic, aesthetic and inspiring, this journey is a 360° immersion into the world of Hennessy. The highlight of the journey: visitors have the chance to step into a committee member’s shoes for an expert tasting. The tour ends with the discovery of the only Hennessy boutique in the world bringing together all of the brand’s references.
For further information on Craftsmanship and Hennessy Visits, please go to www.hennessy.com