Martell, the Cognac of the Thousand Faces

The French ‘Art de Vivre’ (art of living) held for 300 years by the oldest of the major Cognac houses.

Isabel Chuecos-Ruiz. 15/03/2016
COGNAC, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 23: A general view of the Martell Premier Voyage; a limited edition new blend in recognition of the brand's 300th anniversary during a unveiling at the Martell's Visitors Centre and Founders House on September 23, 2014 in Cognac, France. Martell Cognac, the oldest of the great cognac houses, will be celebrating the start of its 300th anniversary celebrations by returning to its roots in Cognac, France for the launch of Martell Premier Voyage; a unique new blend created in celebration of the House’s Tricentenary. World-renowned French artist, Bernar Venet exclusively designed a stunning sculpture which holds the rare cognac. Visit for more information. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Martell)

Martell, with three hundred year history, is one of the oldest houses in Cognac. It is part of the wines and spirits’ subsidiary Martell-Mumm-Perrier-Jouët, belonging to the French group Pernod Ricard. In 1715, year of the house Martell foundation, the French ‘art de vivre’ was at its peak and France lived a celebration of gastronomy, hedonism and pleasure of living the moment. Jean Martell, to reach France after leaving in his native Jersey, found the culture of refinement and excellence established as a trader of ‘eaux-de-vie’ (water of life) in Cognac.

Martell house 1715, el arte de la mezcla
Martell house 1715, the art of the mix. Click to buy

In 1721 Martell was already exporting 200,000 liters of cognac to the UK and in 1868 the brand launched its distribution in China, Japan and Hong Kong. In 1912, following the family tradition, Edouard Martell created the brand Cordon Bleu, which remains a key reference point today. Its softness and fineness of flavors, Martell style characteristics, are achieved by mixing 150 selected ‘eaux-de-vie’.

Cognac Martell, 300 años de historia
Cognac Martell, 300 years of history

To locate the wine region of Cognac, it is divided into six zones of vineyards – called Crus – in the region of Charente, near the Atlantic. Martell was established in Les Borderies, the smallest and valuable Cru of the Cognac region. A place where Ugni Blanc grape variety grows in the clayey soil with silica sand and gives the «water of life» its characteristic floral aromas and exceptional silkiness. It is the uniqueness of this terroir which endows elegance and Martell cognacs incomparable subtlety.

Martell Cordon Bleu. Click to buy

Martell is the only major Cognac houses that only distilled the ‘vins clairs’ – of all the impurities and sediments are removed- in order to obtain an exceptionally pure and fine brandy. From there is obtained a spirit which subsequently is stored in oak barrels for aging leave for a minimum period of two years. Finally, different spirits are assembled to achieve a particular flavor.

Cognacs envejeciendo en barricas
Aging in cognac barrels

Martell VS (Very Special) was created more than 150 years ago under the name «Trois étoiles» (three stars) is considered a brilliant young cognac made from ‘eaux-de-vie’, aged for two years on average. His fresh and fruity aspect makes it an ideal starting point in the preparation of cocktails. And talking about cocktails, Martell presented on Wednesday 10 February in London «The French Touch by Martell» exceptional limited edition of Etienne de Crécy.

martell evento copia
Mixology workshop. Click to buy

The night began with the ‘Mixology workshop’ at the Mondrian Hotel Dandelyon Bar where the mixologist ambassador Matthias Lataille, delighted us with his savoir faire. Final night in Wellington Private members club with DJ Etienne de Crécy, who accompanied with his latest album Super Discount 3 the performance of Martell VS bottle between neon lights.

Una faceta más de un cognac creativo
Creative Cognac

In 2006 Martell joined the Colbert Committee, prestigious international association representing the French luxury houses by promoting ‘art de vivre’.

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