Courvoisier is amongst the four leading cognac houses in the world. Legend has it that the emperor Napoleon himself chose Courvoisier as his preferred cognac, therefore Courvoisier is often referred to as “The Cognac of Napoleon”. The company dates back to 1828 and since has its headquarters in the town of Jarnac. With prestigious bottles such as Courvoisier Napoleon or Josephine, the cognac house is at the top of the luxury spirits market. The drink is strongly engrained in US Hip Hop culture with Busta Rhymes and P Diddy dedicating the song “Pass the Courvoisier” to the traditional cognac.
Courvoisier is the only cognac producer that controls the entire process from grape to bottle, working with smaller producers in the region that have supplied them throughout generations. By doing this, they want to ensure that the quality remains as perfect as it has always been. The goal is to blend the cognacs so that the aromas and flavours remain the same every year, which is rare compared to other manufacturers, whose blends differ from year to year.
In 1964 Courvoisier was acquired by the Canadian spirits group Hiram Walker, which helped to drastically increase international sales. In the 1980s, a period of huge international mergers and acquisitions, Hiram Walker was bought by the British group Allied Lyons, which would become Allied Domecq after merging with Pedro Domecq and will later be partly owned by Pernod Ricard (and therefore indirectly also by Martell). Once Pernod Ricard owned part of the shares, Allied Domecq divested Courvoisier to Fortune Brands, which it remains to be part of today under Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.
Pierre Szersnovicz, whose father ran the largest Courvoisier distillery for decades, is part of the blending team, but at the same time global brand ambassador of Courvoisier, which shows that today, Marketing plays a crucial role in distributing cognac internationally.