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World’s Finest French Cognacs: Martell Cognac Led The Growth Of Cognac In Early 19th Century By Expanding Markets Into Britain And East Asia

As it developed its cognac house, the Martell family maintained its other trading activities into the early 19th century. By 1815, however, the company had decided to concentrate solely on the production of cognac. Martell then began investing in expanding its infrastructure, adding warehouses and new cellars, buying vineyards and building its own distillery operations. Nonetheless, the company continued purchasing from the region's vineyards, building up a network of some 2,500 grape growers. The company's expanded cellars also gave it a broader and broader assortment of eaux-de-vie--that is, distillates aged for a greater or lesser period. These were then blended, as much as 3,000 times to produce the final blend, which was then aged further before being labeled. The company's growing stock of eaux-de-vie enabled it to develop a new cognac label in 1819, Martell Extra. Whereas exports had played an important part in Martell's business from its origins, the company's international activities took off in the late 19th century. From 1868, Martell began developing new export markets, including the British-dominated Chinese and Hong Kong markets. Toward the end of the century, Martell also developed a new labeling system, in addition to the standard labeling, using stars to further distinguish the quality levels of its cognacs. A new cognac joined the Martell family in 1912, when the company, then under Eduoard Martell, developed the Cordon Bleu. That cognac remained a key fixture in the company's cognac portfolio, and became prized worldwide by cognac connoisseurs.

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2010 by in Cognacs, Labels, Martell, Production, Sales and tagged , , .
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