Increasing visitor numbers and turning Cognac into a tourist destination will be a key focus for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac over the coming year.
Raphaël Delpech, general director of the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), said when travel and tourism opens up once again following the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus will be on promoting “Cognac as a unique tourist destination offering new experiences”.
He said: “Visiting the region, when it will be possible again, is a great way to meet the women and men who daily work in the vineyard, distilleries or cellars to create this wonderful product. Their expertise is part of the French cultural heritage we are proud of.”
Delpech believes this focus on tourism could help Cognac attract new drinkers to the category.
“The new generation is interested in ‘modern classic’ and high-quality products that have a story. Cognac is completely in line with those trends,” he said.
As a result, steps will be taken to increase the visibility of the ‘Cognac experiences’ offered by visiting the region.
Delpech added: “Cognac has always been active in terms of tourism around the circuits of trading houses and winegrowers, distillers, distillers of vintage wines, coopers and glassmakers who open their doors to visitors; families spending their holidays in the region, Cognac enthusiasts who have come specifically to discover behind the scenes of our wonderful eaux-de-vie, or wine tourism lovers interested in the vine and tastings.
“The Cognac appellation works closely with the services of the French and regional government in charge of tourism to develop, market and promote Cognac as a tourist destination in its own right.”
Delpech also said the Cognac industry has focussed on developing its sustainability practices throughout 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021.
The BNIC’s efforts to increase sustainability in Cognac production have so far sought to preserve natural resources and promote good working methods across vineyards in the region.
According to Delpech, the BNIC hopes to accelerate its work to reduce the environmental impact of Cognac production in the coming years. By 2030, the organisation aims to have up to 100% of its winegrowers certified to follow its environmental guidelines, which include steps to reduce carbon footprints, preserve natural resources and adopt sustainable vineyard practices.
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Author: Owen Bellwood