MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
From my estimation there have been over 1000 brands of cognac in history. Currently, I evaluate a maximum of 400 brands in commerce, but only up to 100 brands that I would deem active. Active meaning available outside of the local hand-to-hand market. Perhaps, there are only about 40 brands having a worldwide commercial plan. What is interesting to me is that some of these brands/producers are actually unknown but quite large producers. No one knows them, or virtually no one, but in fact some I consider huge. Cognac Garandeau is one very good example:
* 140 hectars of Borderies.
* 4 operating alambics (pot stills).
* Plenty aging capacity, warehousing, resources, etc…
Garandeau is more famous under the business name Group Garandeau. This company is mostly producing compounds for the buiding industry such as concrete, sand, wood, etc…
Originally a cognac producer the Garandeau family in the mid 1900s started exploited the quarry on their land to become a major world player in the supply and distribution of building materials and aggregates. In fact, the company key figures are quite impressive:
* 650 employees
* 8th largest turn over in the region of Cognac, and 3rd largest employer too.
* 12 quarries in Cognac, over 100 trucks, 2 factories, and many sub-divisions … such as contracting, building, trading, transport etc.
* Over 100 million euros sales.
The family has kept the cognac side of the business and Béatrice Soucaret one of the great grand-daughters is still in charge of the property in Cherves Richemont where they started their first quarry, i.e., Domaine de Fontaulière. Most of the production is sold to the cognac trading houses but I believe there is still a small portion of the cognacs available for sale locally in the Borderies.
In recent years, important fossil discoveries were found on the quarry sites form the Garandeau. The Garandeau family showed incredible civism by (1) letting paleontologist scientists study the prehistorical life that was once in Charentes/Cognac for over a decade, but (2) they were generous enough to give away all the findings to national museums in France such as Angouleme Museum (www.angouleme.fr/museeba) for the public benefits. A rich collection of dinosaurs, and other creatures were found including some prehistorical crocodiles. It amuses me to think that they were crocodiles and even sharks once upon a time in Cognac!
The Garandeau family has shown great spirit and leadership in driving business in the area, as well as showing kind global public spirit embracing the fossil search on their land. Unfortunately, I was sorry to hear last 30th July 2012, that Jean-René GARANDEAU, the father passed away at 91 years old. My condolences.
Sources: Photos and data http://www.garandeau.org