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Distillery of the Tower concentrates its eaux-de-vie
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Distillery of the Tower concentrates its eaux-de-vie

The company that produces brandies based on cognac groups its cellars on a single site for 20 million euros. At the same time, it provides space to produce gin, vodka and rum more easily.

« From a constraint we have made an opportunity »,”From a constraint we have made an opportunity,” smiles Christophe Thomas, General Manager of the Distillery of the Tower. In the narrow on its main site located in Pons, Charente-Maritime, the company is investing 20 million euros to build new cellars. In Merpins, just outside Cognac, it will be able to store all its eaux-de-vie, which are currently spread over some fifteen scattered sites, in eight buildings on 20,000 square metres.  In a rapidly expanding cognac sector, professional distillers have a key role to play since they distil the wine of winegrowers to produce the eaux-de-vie from which the trading houses produce their cognac.

Gin and vodka

Jean-Michel Naud, a Charentais oenologist, who created the Distillerie de la Tour in 1989 and remains one of its owners with his family alongside La Martiniquaise, a minority shareholder, nevertheless quickly chose to diversify. A way of surviving the crisis of overproduction that has hit the cognac sector since 1991. He started by selling Charente wine, which now generates 20% of the €78 million turnover.Then he started distilling other alcohols (gin, vodka and rum) which were distributed to bottlers who now account for almost a third of the activity. It is the company’s development, particularly the storage near distillation activities, that now requires it to invest in order to comply with safety regulations “and limit the risk of loss with potentially domino effects,” .« and limit the risk of loss with potentially domino effects », says Christophe Thomas.

Investing in the vines

Work should start in September for a delivery and then transfer of stocks of more than 6,000 barrels at the end of next year. The company, which distributes its products under the Naud Noble And Unusual Distillery brand to show its “know-how”, now has the ambition to invest in the upstream part of the developing cognac sector. « The company owns about a hundred hectares of vines and our objective is to double this area, which would then cover 20% of our needs », explains Christophe Thomas.

Frank Niedercorn  (Correspondent in Bordeaux)

Source : lesechos.fr

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