The story of the 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 unwavering 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 extend its reach across the globe, starting with the United States. At the beginning of the 19th century, the House set its sights on Australia and Southeast Asia and later conquered the South American, Japanese and Chinese markets. In 1860, a quarter of cognac exports bore the name Hennessy name.
In the 20th century, the work begun by the House’s founder was continued. A million cases were shipped in 1967, and the figure had doubled to two million just 20 years later. With over eight million cases sold in 2019, Hennessy is now the world’s leading premium spirits brand.
In addition to the fabulous commercial success of a brand present on every continent and in over 160 countries, Hennessy cognac is an ambassador for French art de vivre the world over.
"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.
From vine to bottle, cognac is the epilogue of a three-part story – selection, aging and finally blending – that takes place in Cognac and nowhere else. 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 470,000 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 vision. For over two centuries, eight 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 perpetuating the House’s timeless cognacs and creating subtle new blends. 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.
With a reputation that goes well beyond the world of cognac, Hennessy has become the leading international premium spirits brand in value and one of the few French companies to figure on Interbrand’s list of the 100 most influential brands in the world.
This dynamic trajectory is driven by the Maison’s flagship cognacs, VS, VSOP and XO, in strategic markets such as the United States and China, but also in Africa and the Caribbean.
Hennessy’s success is also driven by its creative resonance in the world of luxury, as illustrated by the recent Hennessy XO “The Seven Worlds” ad campaign directed by Ridley Scott, which generated a halo effect worldwide.
The Maison’s strong foundations and development are supported by investments in large-scale projects. At the same time, Hennessy is strengthening its commitment to sustainable development and solidarity with local ecosystems to more effectively promote responsible luxury locally, both in France and abroad.
Behind the scenes of an extraordinary brand: In Cognac, Hennessy invites each visitor to enjoy a unique treat for the senses, whether they are casual tourists or cognac connoisseurs.
By opening up its doors, the House enables visitors to better understand how its cognacs are crafted and to appreciate the brand’s identity, history and creativity, as well as its multifaceted expertise and international appeal. The final stop on this journey of the senses is the tasting studio, where visitors sample Hennessy cognacs under the tutelage of a professional taster.
The tour ends at the door of the only Hennessy boutique in the world, where the Hennessy cognacs sold worldwide are brought together to give visitors the opportunity to discover all of the House’s celebrated blends.
- 8 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