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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

tags: |

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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:

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


Wine Maps

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"


Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email



Wine industry jobs


One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.”

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: