MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts

Cartak, the First Chinese Investor to Enter the Closed and Little World of Cognac

People are always surprised to hear that the cognac origin dates back to 500 years ago. They are also surprised to find out that overall it has been an industry which has grown continuously during this period. This growth is well explained by the support of the growing economies of each time. In other words, in 500 years it has not away been the same countries leading economically. Kind of like a relay of countries sustaining the growth of cognac sales through out 500 years: British, Dutch, American, Japanese, Russian, Scandinavian … and now Chinese.

No surprises that these different consumer countries took a significant part in the building of what is today. These foreigners have influenced cognac and in some instances led cognac. So many brands have English or Irish origins Martell, Remy Martin, Hennessy, Courvoisier, Delamain, Hardy, Meukow, …

Dutch have significantly influenced from a business practice in reference to ‘brandy’ —> from the Dutch word brandewijn (burnt wine).

It was expected and it is natural that Chinese are interested in investing in Cognac, as cognac needs it – remember 99%is exported. France is a welcoming country but one foreigner has to follow the rules, values and culture and not try to change them to his/her  own.

This week breaking news is certainly the announcement of the first Chinese investor CARTAK MATINI INTERNATIONAL LIMITED acquiring Cognac Menuet. Menuet was not too long ago still in Saint-Meme les Carrieres in Grande Champagne near Segonzac. Originally started in 1850, the Menuet business had reduced from a full business with vineyard and else to a BP address and less than 20,000 bottles/year sales.

Cognac Menuet Old Website

Cognac Menuet Old Website

Now, with Cartak one can hope this will become a source of positive endorsement from a foreigner using cognac resources to expand local business: some new blood one may say! According to Charente Libre, the owner of Cartak is making connections with local businesses and elected officials to ensure that everyone is reassured of the Chinese company good intentions. One may remember the not so positive ‘noise’ created recently by investors coming from Russia and investing in the Cognac region with questionable ethics.

It will take sometime for everyone to get used to the change of order but life is such than adapting is necessary for survival.

It is interesting to me that the first Chinese company coming in Cognac region be from Hong Kong. Perhaps this makes sense, next should be Singapore, then Taiwan and followed by mainland Chinese investors … well this is an assumption! which uncovered this news first (see blog post here) makes a good point in their blog by discussing the annual growth of sales for mature cognacs due to Asian consumptions of XO qualities, and the limited supplies that only time can replenish. Will Chinese and Asian people be patient enough?

Kudos for to complete a great reporting job when reporting this news first, but mostly for accomplishing so much in such a short time. Max and Sophie (brother and sister) founder of have succeeded in elevating the focus on cognac over the mass media, but also are inspiring to the cognac blogging community in their commitment to bring continuous timely and relevant information.

Sources: Charente Libre and and

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This entry was posted on August 9, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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