Baron Otard – Brand Information
Proud of its origin and founder, Cognac Otard has renewed itself to become Baron Otard. In 1795, Baron Jean-Baptiste Otard acquired the only chateau in the town of Cognac. It boasted outstanding ageing conditions: the thickness of its walls and the nearby Charente River provided a constant temperature and ideal humidity levels. Our Cellar Master takes infinite care assembling the precious blends before laying them down in the cellars to ennoble them.
These natural ageing conditions are unique. Today as in the past, they endow BARON OTARD Cognacs with the rounded, supple qualities that characterise them, offering refined flavour of unrivalled richness.
Baron Jean-Baptiste Otard was born near Cognac in 1763. During the troubled times of the French Revolution, he was arrested by the authorities and sentenced to death in 1793.
It was then that one of the most extraordinary events of his life occurred. The day before his execution, the good people of the town forced their way into the prison where he was being held and released him. After a short exile in England, he returned to Cognac, and with the stock of eaux-de-vie that his family had built up since 1760, he produced his Cognac in 1795. When he acquired the only Royal Chateau of Cognac, which had become national property during the French Revolution, he saved it from destruction.
His success, his qualities as an administrator, and the numerous friends he had made resulted in his being elected Mayor of Cognac in 1804, a position he retained until his death in 1824. He was held in high esteem by his fellow citizens, who elected him twice as Member of Parliament, in 1820 and in 1824.
In 1822, he was decorated with the Legion of Honour. Two years later, when Baron Otard died at the age of 61, the Town Council, in an even more touching gesture, requested that his heart be laid to rest in the Church of Saint-Léger, the main church of the city, with a commemorative plaque that reads: “here lies the heart of my lord otard de la grange knight of the legion of honour mayor of this town member of parliament in 1820 and 1824.”
The Chateau of Cognac was built as a fortress to resist the Vikings and English invasions at the end of the 11th Century. In the 15th Century, Count Jean de Valois rebuilt the Chateau from the existing ruins and made it the principal residence of the Valois family. François de Valois, the future King of France known as “François 1st”, was born in the Chateau in 1494.
During his reign, François 1st, greatly involved in art and literature, was the patron of many Renaissance artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci. It was during this period that he added a series of Renaissance halls to the Chateau such as the State Room and the Guards Room.
Baron Otard first produced his cognac in 1795. When he acquired the only Royal Chateau of Cognac it was mainly because he had understood the unique properties of this place for ageing his cognac.
Baron Otard was aware of the thickness of the walls of the Chateau and the large number of rooms it provided. He was the first to appreciate the essential role played by the atmosphere of these cellars in the process of ageing cognac. The lower vaults of the Chateau, ideally situated on the banks of the River Charente, provide a constant temperature and humidity, both of which are determining factors in the ageing of eaux-de-vie. These unique natural ageing conditions and all the expertise of Baron Otard
still enable BARON OTARD Cognac to deliver such an intensely smooth and rewarding Cognac experience.
Cognac is made from the eaux-de-vie of wine from the delineated area in the Cognac region crafted according to a method and very stringent regulations specific to cognac.
Strict permanent controls are implemented to guarantee the quality of the cognac AOC (French Appellation of Controlled Origin).
In its quest for excellence BARON OTARD ensures that every step of the production process is strictly controlled to guarantee faultless quality which will deliver you an intensely smooth, elegant taste.