Meet the masters

Cellar masters in cognac comprise a small, elite, de facto club of men–but they don’t wear smoking jackets as you can see below. The top four producers make 84 percent of the volume of cognac and there are only a few dozen smaller producers. Here are the cellar masters I met on my recent trip.

delamainmaitre
Cellar master: Dominique Touteau
House: Delamain
Tenure: 27 years
House specialty: aged cognacs, some vintage
Highest priced cognac he makes: $500 Reserve de la famille (search for it)

frapinmaitre
Cellar master: Olivier Paultes
Estate: Chateau Frapin
Tenure: 20 years
House specialty: Owns 542 acres of vineyards; uses exclusively own fruit, stills and cellars
Highest priced cognac he makes: $5,000 for the 1888 from their “paradise” (search for it)

hinemaitre
Cellar master: Eric Forget
House: Hine
Tenure: eight years
House specialty: only old cognacs, extensive vintage program, some aged in Bristol
Highest priced cognac he makes: Hine, Talent de Tomas, $6500 sold in wood box and customized Baccarat crystal decanter (search for it)

camusmaitre
Cellar master: Patrick Leger
House: Camus
Tenure: 4 months
House specialty: This, the fifth biggest house, has some young cognacs from the Ile de Re, other old cognacs
The most expensive cognac he makes: $800 Camus Jubilee (search for it)

drvinomaitre
Celler master (impersonator): Dr. Vino
House: visiting at Camus where I tapped some old barrels and started blending
Tenure: 5 minutes
Specialty: sipping cognac
Highest priced cognac he makes: priceless

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One Response to “Meet the masters”


  1. Great article. It’s a great idea to focus on the smaller producers. We just met the guys from Hine and top 4 houses.

    You can read our first article about it here:
    http://blog.cognac-expert.com/our-cognac-tour-courvoisier-hennessy-hine-martell-remy-martin/

    But we will also publish the video content we produced on our trip.


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