Hennessy, a "Very Special” getaway

We all sometimes dream of leaving Paris for other climes where we can enjoy the delights of the art of living… and art, period. In Cognac, Hennessy’s tours and exhibition of the work of the artist Vhils offer a true oenological and creative experience.

Plenty of destinations may provide a breath of fresh air to clear the fuddled, stressed minds of Parisians, but how many can boast the gustatory, esthetic, oenological and artistic feat of enabling them to enrich their memories with rare experiences, discover a great artist and celebrate magnificent vintages? Very few… or maybe just one. Consequently, we could not miss the opportunity to escape to the lands of Cognac and, more specifically, the house of Hennessy, which is organizing tours and exhibiting artworks created especially for the brand by Vhils. It is more than worth the trip to be able to learn the secrets of the heritage distiller, admire its past and listen to the contemporary creative voices who have been given carte blanche by the brand. Especially since the pilgrimage promises to be a deliciously memorable one.


Hennessy Make the Invisible Visible (Vhils)

8, rue de la Richonne, 16100, Cognac www.hennessy.com
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Fine cognacs are a distillation of expert skills and a passion for excellence. They have a presence and even a soul (we are dealing with spirits, after all!). Aside from their perfection, they embody a respect for tradition rooted in history, and an openness to modern modes of expression. After reserving the passkey that enables you to join one of Hennessy’s remarkable guided tours, the visit will immerse you in the arcana of its trade, the core of its art. Led by an expert, the 90-minute Hennessy Signature tour reveals the establishment’s history, skills and secrets, and culminates in the tasting of Hennessy V.S. and V.S.O.P. As an additional attraction, the Hennessy X.O tour tells the story of the emblematic X.O hallmark.

Then the Hennessy Exception tour, a two-hour visit for small groups, takes the public behind the scenes to discover the rarest of cognacs with a visit to Le Paradis, that haven where the very oldest libations are aged to perfection. Finally, Hennessy now offers visitors an even more remarkable experience. By reservation, the De la Vigne au Cognac tour lasting half a day visits the most private areas of the domain: vineyard, distillery and so on. The guide describes the rituals of blending and the art of tasting. The climax is an opportunity to savor the jewels in Hennessy’s crown… and explore the firm’s latest treasure trove, created by Vhils.

The prolific artist and portraitist is equally at home with hammer, chisel and drill as he reveals the connection between his past as an urban creator whose playgrounds were trains, walls and billboards, and his current vision of the world, where he plays on materials and senses. The man who intends to make “the invisible visible” is an ideal partner for Hennessy, since that ambition is the very essence of cognac, a creation whose nuances are seen and admired by the eye, but whose expression – nose, taste and notes – can only be appreciated by tasting. So until October 31, Hennessy is presenting the street artist and his style and methods. It is as if the visitor were entering his studio. His works and favorite materials are exhibited: sheets of metal, billboards and screen prints, including those used for Hennessy Very Special. Vhils has indeed joined the select circle of creators who define that limited series of cognac, which comes in a new carafe every year. Each one is designed by a leading figure from the world of modern art. Vhils has included ink and acid screen process printing to produce art that combines blacks and deep yellows: shades that suggest cognac. The great vintage, with its rounded, full-bodied flavor and intense, fruity character, is enhanced by an expressive, poetic, modern bottle and presentation box. To sum up, journeys of the senses are everywhere at Hennessy. We simply have to go savor them.

Exhibition “Make the Invisible Visible”. 
Until Octobre 31.

By Thierry Billard. Crédit photos : Piola Alfredo, Julia Hasse - Published the

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