MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, Chairman of the Board of Rémy Cointreau is the grande dame of Cognac. It’s evident that Mme Hériard Dubreuil’s influence goes far beyond France and the spirits business, and she has certainly forged an extraordinary career.
Before joining her family’s company, she was involved in international public relations between 1970 and 1988, successively with Havas Conseil, Ogilvy & Mather, Hill & Knowlton and McCann-Erickson, before creating her own agency, Infoplan, in 1978. In 1990, she became Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Martin, and in 1998 Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Cointreau, of which she is currently the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors.
She is Chairwoman of Vinexpo Overseas and a Director of Vinexpo, and the wider luxury goods industry is also in her blood. Among other positions, she is a member of the boards of the Comité Colbert and Baccarat, the French crystal specialist. Looking at Mme Hériard Dubreuil’s career path prior to joining the family firm, it is the long spell working at marketing advisory firms such as Hill & Knowlton and Havas that really catches my eye.
Mme Hériard Dubreuil then goes on to explain the difficult nature of the Cellar Master’s job – combining emotional and ephemeral ‘nosing’ and tasting with military-style organisational and management skills. (I’ve seen the thousands of barrels lined up in the vast Rémy Martin cellars which the Cellar Master has to keep track of, as well as taste, each day.) Having also observed during my visit to Rémy Martin’s Cognac headquarters the passion that goes into creating this centuries-old spirit, I discover that Mme Hériard Dubreuil embodies this same heart-felt enthusiasm. This also brings some challenges, she notes, as this intimate knowledge has to be passed down to the next generation.