Hennessy

Hennessy
Hennessy

Hennessy Hennessy

For over two centuries, Hennessy has written new chapters in the story of cognac. Today, the House is the unrivaled market leader and one of the top high-end spirits brands in the world.

Creation date: 1765
CEO: Bernard Peillon
Head office: 1, rue de la Richonne, 16100 Cognac - France
Website: www.hennessy.com

Identity

The story of the House of Hennessy began with one man’s vision. An Irish officer in the service of the King of France, Richard Hennessy foresaw the extraordinary international commercial potential of Cognac’s eaux-de-vie. In 1765, he set up his own business and founded a House that has since met with unequaled and unfailing success. That success is the result of a constant quest for excellence in the creation of exceptional cognacs, coupled with an ambitious business development strategy. At the end of the 18th century, Hennessy began to grow in all four corners of the globe, starting with the United States. At the beginning of the 19th century, the House set its sights on Australia and Southeast Asia. The South American, Japanese and Chinese markets were conquered in turn. In 1860, a quarter of cognac exports bore one name: Hennessy. In the 20th century, the work begun by the House’s founder was continued. A million cases were shipped in 1967, and twenty years later that figure was two million. With over five and a half million cases in 2013, Hennessy is now the top French wine and spirits brand by value in the world. In addition to the fabulous commercial success of a brand present on every continent and in over 130 countries, Hennessy cognac is an ambassador for French art de vivre the world over.

Richard Hennessy © Jas Hennessy & Co

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"Innovation means creating the classics of tomorrow." Created by Maurice Hennessy in 1870, X.O is the perfect illustration of this maxim, which is dear to heart of the cognac House. Two years only after its creation, X.O allowed Hennessy to strengthen its presence in China. It gave the world a radically new approach to aging eaux-de-vie.

Hennessy X.O © Jas Hennessy & Co / Jeff Burton

Insights

Bernard Peillon, Hennessy Chairman and CEO © Richard Shroeder
“Hennessy cognacs possess a truly fascinating elegance. For 250 years, each decanter has been born of the constantly reinvented conjunction between nature’s generosity and the rigorous savoir-faire of our employees at every stage of the product’s creation. This savoir-faire is passed from generation to generation to nurture eaux-de-vie for as long as they need to reveal their full richness.”

Savoir-faire

From vine to bottle, cognac is the epilogue of a three-part story that takes place in Cognac and nowhere else: selection, aging and finally blending.
To ensure the excellence and variety of its aromas, Hennessy exclusively selects the best grapes from the four grand cru regions of the AOC (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois). After double distillation in copper stills, the eaux-de-vie are stored in casks made of French oak. Hennessy possesses the largest reserves of cognac eaux-de-vies in the world, with over 350,000 casks resting in its cellars.
Lastly comes the art of blending. At Hennessy, this art has developed over time, and has come to define the House’s identity and its vision. For over two centuries, seven generations of master blenders from the Fillioux family have devoted their lives to creating exceptional cognacs, to enriching the House’s heritage and to passing it on to their descendants.
A member of the Fillioux family still chairs the tasting committee. Heritage and savoir-faire, combined with intuition, guide them each day in the creation of subtle, timeless cognacs.
Yann Fillioux, Hennessy Master Blender © Jas Hennessy & Co / R . Schroeder
Yann Fillioux, Hennessy Master Blender © Jas Hennessy & Co / R . Schroeder

Outlook

Present on the Chinese market for over 150 years, Hennessy’s ambition is to reach the new generation. This particularly dynamic and urban generation Y comprises some 350 million people who have made their mark in the graphic arts and technology. Launched exclusively on this market three years ago, Hennessy Classivm, a subtly spiced blend that lends itself to long drinks, proves that cognac can be in tune with the aspirations of this generation and break with the traditional spirits model.
With a visual that is recognizable and visible in the darkness of nightclubs, a signature, “Shine on me”, which invites consumers to free up their creative energy, and 100% digital marketing, Classivm has already reached its clientele and is paving the way for a promising future for Hennessy with a new generation in China.

Key figures

  • 7 Generations of master blenders from one family have served the House
  • 350,000 The number of casks that rest in Hennessy's cellars
  • 70 Million bottles sold every year all over the world