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Cognac Grande Champagne Michel Forgeron, production sale, "Chez Richon" 16130 SEGONZAC - Cognac Grande Champagne in Charente near Cognac.
Cognac Grande Champagne et Pineau des Charentes depuis 1965...

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The House: key dates

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A short summary of our history with a few key dates.

­1909 : Jean and Ernestine Gonthier, until then managers on a nearby farm, bought a beautiful Charentaise house and adjoining land at a candlelight sale and settled at Chez Richon?

 1934 : Their son-in-law, Dély Forgeron, takes over and cultivates the estate in mixed farming: cereals - & vines.

 1949 : Dély et Renée Forgeron share the land between 3 of their children: Michel is only 10 years old. His father will manage the property until his majority.

1960 : After 2 years of military service - due to the Algerian war - Michel Forgeron settles on the family farm. The estate is very small: 2Ha of vines and 4 Ha of arable land. The working tools: A horse and equipment adapted to the animal, old and not very functional buildings.

1965 : After having planted all his land with vines, Michel installs in his house a wife, Francine ... and a still. He transforms the stable into a distillery and the barns into an ageing cellar where the barrels of Cognac are carefully lined up.

1977 : Children were born: Isabelle (1967), Christophe (1969) and Pierre (1977) ... They grew up ... the vineyard and the stock too ... Michel and Francine decided to start a commercial activity by bottling their Cognac themselves and selling it under their own name. The brand " Michel Forgeron " was born !

 1991 : The appearance of the grape harvesting machine 12 years earlier gradually made the streets of Cognac disappear, as cohorts of young (hairy!) people set off with backpacks to conquer the world. Too bad, next year we too will buy a harvesting machine. It’s certainly less funny, but in the end more efficient.

 1998 : With 16 Ha, the vineyard has reached a respectable size, the farm is well provided with modern equipment, all the buildings have been renovated, the stock of Cognac is remarkable, both in quality and quantity. The sale of bottled Cognac has developed well thanks to the quality of the products on offer and also thanks to Francine’s efforts: Her sense of dialogue and welcome make a visit to the farm a recognised tourist attraction and her involvement in local activities and the Grande Champagne Tourist Office has just earned her the 1998 Tourism Medal. Aware - and proud! - of having carried out the task he had set himself, Michel is taking a well-deserved retirement.

 1999 :  Still young, but already known for his dynamism and his commitment to promote Cognac (Creator of "La Nuit du Cognac" and participant in several promotional events), Pierre takes over from his parents, benefiting, for some time to come, from their help and advice - The arrival of new arms makes it possible to enlarge the vineyard to 19 Ha.

 2000 : The Cognac VSOP Michel Forgeron wins the gold medal in the first general competition open to Cognacs (Salon de l’Agriculture).

 2002 : After 10 years spent travelling the world as a telecom engineer, Christophe comes back to operations with a project to take charge of the commercial part. Little by little, he learns to taste, enriches the range of cognacs, carries out the blends and develops export and trade shows.

 2007 : An opportunity allows us to enlarge the vineyard to 24 Ha. A second alembic still is added to the one at the beginning. Pierre and Christophe, working together, are committed to an environmental approach: less pesticides, less fuel, recovery and use of rainwater, etc. ...

  2009 : 100 years ! 100 years the estate’s been in the family. 100 years that men have been adapting to climatic or economic events, thinking about the best way to develop the farm and improve the quality of their production. 100 years that men have been working enthusiastically to achieve their projects. Latest to date: 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels on a new shed that will allow us to optimise the facilities for both the equipment workshop and the bottling plant.  

Always with the Forgeron’s philosophy in mind: work better to produce better ...  

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