The House: key dates
1909: Until then managers of a nearby farm, Jean and Ernestine Gonthier bought a beautiful Charentaise house and adjoining land during a candle sale and set up shop at Chez Richon?
1934: Their son-in-law, Dély Forgeron, takes over and cultivates the estate in mixed crops: cereals – vine breeding.
1949: Dély and Renée Forgeron share the land between 3 of their children: Michel only 10 years. His father will manage the property until his majority.
1960: After 2 years of military service – Algerian war obliges - Michel Forgeron s' settled on the family farm. The estate is very small: 2 Ha of vines and 4 Ha of arable land. The work tool: A horse and the equipment adapted to the animal, old and not very functional buildings.
1965: After having planted all his land with vines, Michel moved into his house, a wife , Francine … and a still. He transforms the stable into a distillery and the barns into an aging cellar to carefully line up the barrels of Cognac.
1977: Children were born: Isabelle (1967), Christophe (1969) and Pierre (1977) … They grew … the vineyard and the stock too … Michel and Francine decide to start an active business by bottling their own Cognac and selling it under their own name. The "Michel Forgeron" brand was born!
1991: The appearance of the Harvest Machine 12 years earlier caused the cohorts of young (hairy!) backpacked out to conquer the world. Too bad, next year we too will buy a grape harvester. It's certainly less funny, but ultimately more effective.
1998: With 16 Ha, the vineyard has reached a respectable size, the farm is well equipped with modern equipment, all the buildings have been renovated, the stock of Cognac is remarkable, both for its quality and its quantity. The sale in bottles has developed well thanks to the quality of the products offered and also thanks to the efforts of Francine: Her sense of dialogue and hospitality make the visit to the farm a recognized tourist stage and his involvement in local events and the Grande Champagne Tourist Office have just earned him the 1998 Tourism Medal. Aware - and proud! – for having successfully completed 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 promoting Cognac (Creator of "La Nuit du Cognac" and participant in several events of promotion), Pierre takes over from his parents, benefiting from their help and advice for some time to come – The arrival of new hands makes it possible to expand the vineyard at 19 Ha.
2000: Cognac VSOP Michel Forgeron wins the gold medal at the first general competition open to Cognacs (Salon de l 'Farming).
2002: After 10 years traveling the world as a telecom engineer, Christophe returned to operations with plans to take in charge of the commercial part. Gradually he trained in tasting, enriched the range of cognacs, made the blends and developed exports and fairs.
2007: An opportunity allows us to expand the vineyard to 24 Ha. A second still comes to support 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! The estate has been in the family for 100 years. 100 years of men adapting to climatic or economic events, thinking about the best way to develop the farm and improve the quality of their production. 100 years of men working with enthusiasm to realize their projects. The latest: 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels on a new hangar that will optimize the facilities for both the equipment workshop and bottling.
Always with the Forgeron philosophy in mind: work better to produce better...