FOOD & BEVERAGES: Distell Takes Another Nibble On Bisquit
Recent Western Cape Business News
Distell, the world’s fourth largest producer of brandies, has bought a 19th-century chateau in the heart of Cognac which is to become the home for its recently acquired cognac brand, Bisquit. Forming part of the former Raynal & Cie site that until recently belonged to William Grant & Sons, it will be renamed Chateau Bisquit.
The company, which purchased the Bisquit brand and associated inventories from Pernod Ricard in March, intends to relocate the production of the famous-name cognac to Chateau Bisquit. The site, complete with production assets, occupies an entire city block.
The just-concluded €3m deal includes the extensive facilities on site as well as the impressive chateau, which is strategically located in the centre of Cognac and is thus a potentially popular tourist stop. Distell has confirmed the property has sufficient space to 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.
Said Caroline Snyman, Distell’s head of spirits and herself a brandymaker: “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. Once refurbished and equipped with facilities to make for a comfortable and luxurious visiting experience, it will provide a tangible base from which we can continue to build the face of the brand.
“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. It remained in the Bisquit family for nearly 150 years. Through the efforts of Maurice Laporte-Bisquit it evolved into an internationally known brand, owned and managed by the Bisquit family until its purchase in 1966 by Pernod Ricard, who in turn grew Bisquit into one of the world’s foremost cognac brands.
Today it holds a strong presence in parts of both Western and Eastern Europe with a support base in China as well as in international travel retail. A market leader in Belgium, Bisquit also enjoys a loyal following in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Russia, France and Germany.
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