A.  de Fussigny

Cognac & Pineaux

Grande Champagne


all about Cognac, brandy and more ...™


Cognac, Pineaux & Brandy

Spring 2001 No.1


First a disclaimer. Our parent company manages a web site since 1996, www.swfrance.com and www.cognacnet.com. Its content is information only.

In the B2C,Business-to-Consumer, category by far the most successful site is www.calvados.de which averages about 300 Cognac sales per month. Originally targeted at the German market it begins to sell in the EC countries as well. It has an outstanding monthly newsletter.

Among others worth noting are the UK based site cognac-co.com, le-cognac.com which has achieved an average of US$1000 per order, cognacweb.com has a miniscule e-commerce and la-cognatheque.com which is operated by owner of a Cognac shop in Cognac of the same name. Many wine sites begin to offer Cognac as well.

In the B2B, Business-to-Business, category, there are basically no Cognac market place although pro-wine.com and wine4trade.com have registered occasional offers.

Big fashionable name sites like ducasseonline.com offer one or two Cognac brands as well. Some  Cognac producers attempt to sell their products off their sites like guerbe.fr.                                    continues Brandy@Internet page 11

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A Gascon in Cognac, a surprising rendez-vous with Philippe Gelas

Finding Philippe Gelas working for the biggest distillery in Grande Champagne - Boinaud in Angeac Champagne - is something of a surprise for those who know of his family connection with their venerable Armagnac house in Vic Fezensac.

Aged 40, with a degree in management from ESC Bordeaux, he also holds a BA from San Jose University in California. Following sale by Gelas of their distribution operation in the Caribbean, Philippe decided to accept the challenge offered by getting Boinaud's brand - J. Dupont - established internationally.
He found surprising that the biggest vineyard owner in Grande Champagne (380 hectares) marketed Fine Champagne Cognac and he is looking to change to a pure Grande Champagne strategy making use of the new Premier Grand Cru designation.
His analysis of the international market is based on the belief that in a globally flat sector (spirits) growth opportunities exist in quality segments. The J. Dupont range, whose X.O. recently won a gold medal in the Concours Mondial in Brussels does not include V.S. in keeping with this thinking. 

Privileged market targets are the U.S.A., Great Britain and Asia where the brand is already present in Taiwan and the favoured approach is participation in trade fairs - watch out for them at Vinexpo in Hall 1 AB 355.

When asked the inevitable question about Armagnac's decline he indicated a recent, if timid, positive trend in sales and has always been a partisan of moves to simplify the appellation into 3 categories - Armagnac, Vieil Armagnac & vintages.
These measures are being finalised at present. He also mentioned efforts made to improve the quality of those wines used for distillation. He recently wrote a guide to Armagnac producers.

Fresh, if foreign, blood is always welcomed and Boinaud chose well. Simon Palmer
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