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Patrice Pinet & The Cognac Climate

Posted by on in September 2017 Editions
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This month, Patrice Pinet, Master Blender at Courvoisier, took some time in the States to sit down and discuss the new ways they're staying ahead of the curve in the Cognac industry.

Courvoisier has a longstanding tradition of innovation over the past 200 years. As a brand, Courvoisier consistently tries to stay on top and learn new ways to maintain and even improve quality and continues to hold status as one of the best in the world.

Master blender Patrice Pinet pointed out that since the 1850's the Courvoisier family maintained a relationship with the United States and new technologies with the intent to improve upon that longstanding relationship.

Over 800 winegrowers get the grapes right before distillation. Grapes used for Cognac only come from the 75,000 hectare region and if that region's climate diminishes, so does the harvest. 

"Courvoisier comes from the very small Cognac region and has always focused on a very crafted production. It is important to get the wine right first."

The future may not be so simple however as Patrice points out that Courvoisier works on new technologies to fight against changes in climate that could make or break the success of, not only the Cognac industry, but the entire food and beverage industry.

In the 1970's Courvoisier moved from coal and wood heat distillation to using gas in order to keep more consistent temperatures and they're viewing the new adaptations in a similar light.

"We have a similar transition today because the harvest has moved from the beginning of October 30 years ago to [mid] September almost. So if we have to pick the grapes two or three weeks early every ten years, it will be a problem." 

Patrice explained the dynamic of lab studies and the beauty of nature as influencers on Courvoisier saying, "It's a balance of both. Laboratory is very important to do the analysis, to do the micro-distillation. The nose of the people is important too though. You can't do it on just analysis. You can't do only statistics. You have also the feeling."

By using new varieties of grapes, and sending out specifications to each wine grower, Patrice and his team maintain quality while continuing to improve and ensuring they receive the exact results they look for. It isn't all new-age work however.

Courvoisier continues to exemplify a benchmark for Cognac and makes the effort to continue doing so for a long time to come.


Click Here to check out the entire article as it appeared in The Journal.  


Doug is a graduate of Albright College with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology as well as Sociology.  He is also a talented bartender/server and enjoys writing about the licensed beverage industry.