Sales of Rémy Martin's luxury cognacs are up 10 per cent over last year, despite le credit-crunch, according to Stephen Carroll, global market director for the family-owned cognac house. In the year to March, Rémy Martin recorded a turnover of €818m (£738), holding on to its ranking as the second-biggest cognac brand in the world.
Pictured here is Pierrette Trichet – the first female cellar master in Rémy Martin's 285 year history – at the company's cellars in Cognac. Here she works with a broad palette of eaux-de-vie (literally: "waters of life") later to be redistilled and blended in barrels into spirits that are aged for more than a century. Rémy Martin's most exclusive cognac – the Louis XIII is aged for 100 years – takes three cellar masters to produce and costs a mere snip at £1,200 a bottle.