Asia fuelling success of prestige Cognac

The Asian market’s thirst for Cognac is fuelling the success of the region’s top blends according to the largest family-owned producer in Cognac.

Camus Cuvée 5.150

Camus Cuvée 5.150: 1,342 Baccarat crystal decanters were released earlier this year to celebrate Camus’ 150th anniversary

Speaking to the drinks business, Sylvie Perret of Camus said: “Asia has been a very important market for us for a long time and China has recently grown to be our number one export market – it’s big focus for the business.

“Our owner Cyril Camus spotted the potential of Asia over a decade ago and learnt Chinese specifically so he could immerse himself in the market and effectively communicate with consumers over there,” she added.

Capitalising on the interest in the house in Asia, Camus has opened a series of boutiques in China, along with the Maison Camus Lounge member’s bar in Beijing.

The company even took the step of changing its logo to appeal to the Chinese market, evolving it from a white cross on a red background to a gold cross, as the colour gold is considered lucky in China and associated with nobility and wealth.

The Maison Camus Lounge in Beijing

The Maison Camus Lounge member’s bar in Beijing

Atypically for the Cognac region, 80% of Camus’ production is dedicated to super-premium blends.

Camus champions the idea of single vintage Cognac and released a range of eight different vintages in 2011 spanning from 1964 to 1989.

“To stand out from the other houses, we like to shine a spotlight on single vintage Cognac from a single plot within a single growing region. The concept of terroir and reflecting the character of the different parcels is important to us,” Perret told db.

Earlier this year, the house launched a limited edition collection of decanters entitled “Cuvée 5.150”, priced at £9,000 each to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary.

Just 1,342 individually numbered Baccarat crystal decanters went on sale, each presented in a black lacquer gift box with two tasting glasses.

Camus' CEO, Cyril Camus

Camus’ CEO, Cyril Camus

The 5.150 figure refers to the five members of the house who have steered the company since it was founded in 1863, while the 150 corresponds to the combined number of years the five different eaux-de-vie in the blend have been age for.

“We’ve just sold the last one of our initial run of 150. There was a big uptake from Asia,” Perret confirmed.

She also revealed that Camus has been working with tourist boards across China to set up organised tours allowing Cognac fans to visit the house.

“We’ve created an experience where people can visit us and blend their own XO from different casks for €160. We keep their recipes on file so customers can re-order their own individual blends,” she said.

The fifth largest producer in Cognac and the largest independently owned house, last year Camus posted sales of £130million.

Camus is currently sold in 40 countries and was launched in the US in 2010.

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