Protecting our forests with the ONF
At LOUIS XIII we continuously maintain a careful balance of safeguarding our heritage and securing the future of LOUIS XIII cognac. The long-term collaboration with the Office National des Forêts, or ONF, enters into this equation. As a public agency responsible for the management of France’s forests, the ONF's goals include the preservation of biodiversity and water quality, adapting to climate change and the protection of a natural and cultural heritage. These goals align with those of LOUIS XIII within the larger framework of the House of Rémy Martin.
Sharing the same values
The House of Rémy Martin and the ONF have been collaborating on a number of reforestation projects for over a decade with the goal of protecting the forest, encouraging biodiversity but also raising public awareness. It is a mutually beneficial collaboration, strengthened by the fact we share the same vocabulary: the vocabulary of exception, time, patience and humility.
Reflecting on the shared values, Baptiste Loiseau, Cellar Master, says: ‘There is such a wonderful parallel between what we are LOUIS XIII are doing and what the ONF is doing in terms of time, in terms of observing nature, in terms of preserving all these treasures.’
A special link with oak forests from the Limousin
Oak forests are both an important part of the local landscape and the local economy and the oak tree itself has particular importance for LOUIS XIII: the wood of the pedunculate oak is used to create the traditional oak barrels called tierçons in which a small amount of the precious eau-de-vie is aged in our cellars. These tierçons play a pivotal role in developing the complex aromas and flavours of a LOUIS XIII cognac over time. Without these specific oak trees from the Limousin, LOUIS XIII might not exist as we know it; they are a gift from nature. The Limousin forest, like the vineyards of the Grande and Petite Champagne, is an integral part of the terroir that needs to be protected for the sake of future generations.
Planting oak trees in Grollet Estate
Just as the House of Rémy Martin and its winegrowers are learning to adapt in the vineyard, the partnership brings LOUIS XIII and the ONF to consider alternative solutions. In the face of climate change, there’s a possibility that the pedunculate oak from the Limousin forest might not be available to next generations. In light of this, in October 2019 LOUIS XIII decided to plant amix of oak trees at its Grollet Estate in Saint-Même-les-Carrières in collaboration with the ONF. Pedunculate oak, the traditional oak tree currently used to make tierçons, was planted on one plot of land while the pubescent oak, another variety of oak, was planted on a separate plot of land. Over time LOUIS XIII will observe the growth of the pubescent oak and assess whether it could offer an alternative solution to create casks, or possibly even tierçons for LOUIS XIII. Decades, if not centuries, will pass before we have a definitive answer. As the saying goes, ‘Only time will tell’.