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Age statements and collaboration vital for Cognac in Asia

Cognac needs to push age statements ahead of more traditional labelling and also stick together to thwart fraudsters.

Speaking to the drinks business, David Baker, managing director of Brandy Classics, said that XO and VSOP should be replaced by age statements in Asia to aid understanding – and increase burgeoning sales.

“Cognac needs to develop age statements,” he suggested, “it gives a psychological value that people can relate to.

“It takes time to explain XO and what it means and it becomes increasingly difficult.

“Meanwhile, the Chinese are snapping up all the vintages they can find. It’s going berzerk.”

Recently it was reported that Asia had become the number one market for Armagnac and Janneau had released a series of vintage spirits with plans for more in the future.

Baker was also worried about what the future held and said it was vitally important for the houses to work together to combat fraud and also push quality over presentation.

“There’s far too great an emphasis on image at the moment,” he continued. “That’s a danger because it creates a tempting market for fakes.

“The Taiwanese market was completely eroded by fakes and now it’s a whisky market that could be the case here too.

“In many ways the smaller Cognac houses have a greater chance of success because they’re better able to control their business.

“Cognac is the ‘king of spirits’ and the one everyone aspires to but that has to be supported.

“The more each house goes down its own route the more they’ll lose out. They have to stick together more, they have to or they’ll lose out.”


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