MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Inc, more commonly recognized under Chateau Changyu or simply Changyu is the oldest and largest winery in China. In the past 10 years, it has developed an impressive number of partnerships with the most significant being with the French Castel group which dominates the French production of wines in volume.
Hence, this company has a very European style in everything it does: Chateau Castels and Chateau Moser are buildings constructed like European castles but using the most advanced production methods.
Personally, I was impressed the first time I saw a bottle of wine produced by Changyu as I could see a right the balance of things on it to make me feel comfortable and familiar with, and a touch of details just enough to remind me it was Chinese.
The big news these past few days is that Changyu just purchased Roullet-Fransac, a small cognac negociant whose business was slowing down. These past 5 years, Georges Roullet had mentioned he was selling its business including the impressive property on the docks of Cognac, corner of rue Saulnier and Quai des Flamands, direct neighbor with the impressive headquarter of Cognac Hennessy.
A few months ago some Armenians almost made a deal but it fell apart and I knew that this business would go to an impressive and large Chinese wine & spirit business. It was obvious! Roullet-Fransac were savvy in getting the property from the Firino-Martell years back when this family passed the relay to Pernod-Ricard, and now the world economy is such than the Chinese are leading the expansion. Cognac has never really been totally French. Many cultures have influenced the advance and stability of Cognac/ cognac: the Dutch, the English, the Russians, the Japanese, the Rappers and now the Chinese.
The newspaper the Sud Ouest has had a poll where 90% of the people have voted that they were worried that this was going to be a loss more than a gain for cognac (www.sudouest.fr).
This news brings two things: (1) people including Chinese are investing in cognac, and (2) Hennessy might not be the biggest company in Cognac anymore but it could be Roullet-Fransac now!