Saturday 9 February 2013


When I spotted the barrels in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt, I immediately knew which postcard I should use.  It comes from Cognac in western France, or more precisely, it comes from the Hennessy cognac house, and was sent in 1980 from Giles to his Grandpa.  The image is of course a much older one, from the beginning of the 20th century, when the barrels of cognac were transported from the distillers' cellars to the merchants' warehouses on horse drawn carts.

The House of Hennessy was founded in 1765 by an Irish soldier, Richard Hennessy.  At that time cognac was merely one of the several eaux-de-vie in France and it wasn't until 1909 that the name of the town given  became a protected "appellation d'origine controlée".  Nearly 250 years later, cognac continues to be associated with fine brandy and Hennessy has become a foremost producer.

In more recent years it has merged with Moët et Chandon to become Moët Hennessy, and more recently still it became part of Louis Vuitton to form LVMH, one of the world's largest luxury goods companies.  The conglomerate includes some Scottish distilleries, a Polish vodka producer, and a French department store.  An eclectic mix, as they say.

I have some other postcards from Cognac, a map card of the region and two from the House of Bisquit.

A post for Sepia Saturday.  A click on the button will take you to the Sepia Saturday blog where you can find links to all the other people taking part.
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  1. Even I the untutored midwesterner, know the name of Hennessey! I always worry about mergers such as you describe, that one of the lesser brands will get lost in the conglomerate and lose its distinctive character.

  2. What a perfect on theme photo! I enjoyed learning more about Hennessey too.

    Kathy M.

  3. Very interesting...and wonderful spin for sure..the one horse cart for that large and no doubt heavy barrel.

    Jan @ Jans Place

  4. I really enjoy eating dark chocolate candy filled with cognac! Yummy! Thanks for the information!

  5. I'm not much of a consumer of cignac, scotch or vodka, but your postcard is appreciated.

  6. I'm sure the French don't want to be reminded that they have to be thankful to an Irish soldier for their Hennessey :) And Sheila, we also have to be grateful to you for providing us with a barrel without any snow!

  7. With a barrel like that - who worries about snow

  8. A great photograph and a rather pleasant change to the snowdrift of snow pictures we have had this week. It reminded me of a tour around the distillary many years ago when we visited Cognac.

  9. Nothing like a drop of cognac after a day in the snow, That barrel would provide enough nips for a whole village.

  10. Gorgeous post. I don't like cognac in a particular way, but I would like such a barrel, which I have it until the last day of my life. :)

  11. Oh, how fascinating. I did not know that about all the mergers especially with Moët Chandon and Louis Vitton.

  12. Hennessy was one of my mother's faves.
    Pity such businesses have to sell out to larger corporations,
    which in turn may eventually downsize it or close it,
    not caring about traditions like the original owners did.
    But such are the times...

  13. YAY - a barrel and no snow. Whodathunk it was possible. Fun post!


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