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Monday, June 17, 2024

Bache-Gabrielsen Cognac


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The Cognac house of Bache-Gabrielsen was founded by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen from Holmestrand Norway in 1905. Several generations later the business is still owned and run by the Bache-Gabrielsen family.  It is now being run by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen’s great-grandson Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen, who recently took over the day-to-day management from his father, Christian Bache-Gabrielsen.

The company website details this interesting “fairy tale”… Young Second Lieutenant Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen, went to Cognac in search of fame and fortune.  Thomas’s father ran Holmestrands Samlag for Brændevinshandel, an alcohol monopoly, in the latter half of the 19th century, so young Thomas was not raised on milk alone.  His interest in brandy went with him – in more ways than one – when he set off for Cognac in 1903.  As in most fairy tales, good friends are always welcome, and another Norwegian, Peter Anton Rustad from Ås in Akershus, was already established in the region.  As luck would have it, he chose young Bache-Gabrielsen as his partner when they took over the firm of A. Edmond Dupuy in 1905.  This meant that Thomas was not just in the Cognac region, but in the cognac market too.  To cut a long success story short, Thomas married and won “the princess and half the kingdom”.  Or very nearly.  He became son-in-law to an old wine-growing family, strengthening the firm and adding to its knowledge of wine production.  In 1916 Rustad died in a motorbike accident and Thomas continued on his own.  His connections with Scandinavia, and Norway in particular, were good. Today Bache-Gabrielsen is one of the few remaining traditional, family-run cognac houses and occupies old, almost antiquated premises in the center of Cognac.

Bache-Gabrielsen Cognac is a family-run business with an interesting “fairy tale” history, detailed on their company website. In 1903, young Second Lieutenant Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen left Norway for Cognac in search of fame and fortune. His father was involved in the alcohol monopoly business, so Thomas’s interest in brandy was not new. By 1905, he had partnered with another Norwegian, Peter Anton Rustad, and taken over the firm of A. Edmond Dupuy. This put Thomas in the cognac market in the Cognac region. His connections to Scandinavia, and Norway in particular, proved beneficial. In 1916, Rustad died in a motorcycle accident, and Thomas continued on his own. He later married into an old wine-growing family, which strengthened the firm and added to its wine production knowledge. Today, Bache-Gabrielsen Cognac remains one of the few traditional, family-run cognac houses and is located in old, almost antiquated premises in the center of Cognac.

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