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By the Glass: Into the Heart of Cognac

What better way for cognac lovers to appreciate their favorite brandy than to have a private, guided tour of where the magic happens?

You may be well-versed in the history of cognac, but do yourself a favor and leave the wikis, books, and videos behind. Visit Maison Hennessy at Rue de la Richonne—bring a friend, too—and partake of “From Grape to Glass” for proper immersion into a richer cognac experience.

The private tours began in 2018, a couple of years after the Maison redesigned its facility tours with more contemporary behind-the-scenes exhibitions. Thanks to strides in experiential technology, the new tours started implementing more ways to bring people deeper into the process.

While “From Grape to Glass” is available to the public year-round, the tour takes one of two distinct paths depending on the season. The Spring-Summer experience involves a visit to Domaine de la Bataille—an experimental vineyard for sustainable winegrowing—and revolves around how the Hennessy winemakers work with the growth cycles of the vines. The distillery is still part of the tour, but it’s a relatively quiet visit during this season.

The Fall-Winter experience has it the other way around: the Le Peu Distillery is the highlight of the tour, as the processes are in full swing during this period. Aside from looking into the Charentaise double distillation technique, the tour also explores both the brand’s traditional chai cellar and Le Paradis, the exclusive cellar for their most venerable eaux-de-vie.

It’s not all exploration, of course. At the end of the tour, regardless of the season, visitors get to eaux-de-vie at five different stages of maturation, alongside three Hennessy cognacs. How better to round out the multisensory experience of “From Grape to Glass” than by departing with their fine elixirs swirling in your veins?

Interested parties should set aside four hours for the tour, although you’ll probably want to do it twice: once for each season.