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Distell buys chateau in Cognac

Distell, the world’s fourth largest producer of brandies, has bought a 19th-century chateau in the heart of Cognac to serve as the home for its recently acquired Bisquit cognac brand. The site, which forms part of the former Raynal & Cie site that previously belonged to William Grant & Sons, will be renamed Chateau Bisquit. 

The company, which purchased the Bisquit brand and associated inventories from Pernod Ricard in March, will relocate the production of the cognac to Chateau Bisquit. The site, complete with production assets, occupies an entire city block.  

The €3m deal includes the extensive facilities on site as well as the impressive chateau, which is strategically located in the centre of Cognac and a potential tourist stop. The property will house the inventories of Bisquit’s finished cognac and stocks of eau-de-vie (cognac distillate) for blending that the company acquired in the earlier transaction from Pernod Ricard.

Caroline Snyman, Distell’s head of spirits, said: “Bisquit is a brand with an almost 200-year history that is steeped in family tradition and deserves a home of its own in line with its status and heritage. The fine chateau with a Boulevard de Paris address has all the grace, bearing and nobility associated with a cognac as respected as Bisquit. 

“The facilities are such that we can start developing production to serve our markets. With our French management team and a solid infrastructure in place, we are well-positioned to take this heritage brand to the next level.”
Bisquit was founded in 1819 by cognac pioneer Alexandre Bisquit and remained in the Bisquit family for nearly 150 years until the 1960s. Former owner Pernod Ricard grew Bisquit into one of the world’s foremost cognac brands.

1 September 2009 - James Graham