The famous cognac house of Hine has had a colourful past. After 6 generations of family ownership, the company was sold to the Distillers Company. Later it was bought by Möet Hennessy and then CL World Brands. Probably not the future that British-born founder Thomas Hine had intended. Although Bernard Hine has, since 1963, continued to be involved, the company missed the benefits family ownership brings. Its recent sale to French family firm, EDV SAS, has therefore been welcomed with open arms. Returning to family values with recognition of the longevity of the production process, Hine has been able to rediscover its origins. New releases of 'early-landed', being developed for travel retail, and single estate vintage cognac demonstrate where it's heading. This, coupled with its fresh, youthful new packaging, H by Hine, illustrates the company's desire to progress yet retain its core values, something many cognac houses have lost.
Hine is not the only cognac house to have changed hands recently though. Ivory Coast footballer, Olivier Tebily, bought his first vineyards as a teenager. Acutely aware of the fragility of his chosen profession he planned to one day produce cognac. Buying vineyards as an outsider is a tricky business but he took his search seriously and made good friends along the way. One of them, the son of his neighbour, tragically died leaving no heir to the family estate so when the father wanted to sell his 22 acres, Olivier was the obvious choice. Good to see an injection of fresh blood occasionally!