During our behind-the-scenes tour of Martell, I’ve learned a lot about cognac, but really, there are so many things to know and three days are just not enough. That said, we managed to see a bit of everything, and one of the highlights was the visit to the Martell Cooperage where the barrels are made.
In order to have a better appreciation for cognac (or any liqueur for that matter) it is important for us to know of what goes in to producing it.
I’m sure everyone knows about the different types of Martell Cognac, but how many people can say that they know how the beverage actually comes about? While it’s definitely more fun to just drink cognac, I think it’s equally important to know about the origin.
I was a little overwhelmed when I stepped into the cooperage. There were so many things happening at the same time, and I was trying to take in everything. Luckily we had a staff who was there to explain the barrel-making process while we explored the area.
Before the visit to the cooperage, I thought that most of the work are done by machines and computers. So I was quite amazed to see that much of the barrel-making is still dependent on human labour.
There are some steps where they can use machines to cut the wood, but much of it is still done by hand and crafted with precision. As we walked through the different production stages, we saw many coopers busy at work, and trust me, it’s not an easy job.
From the selection of oak, to the preparation of the wood, and to the production; it takes a lot of time and labour just to make a barrel.
The visit to Martell Cooperage showed me that there are so much more to making a bottle of cognac. Here’s a toast to the unsung heroes working hard behind the scenes.
Note: I travelled to Cognac via Paris as a guest of Martell. No monetary benefits were received, only air tickets and hotel accommodations were sponsored.