Hennessy, Wempe, and Galerie Come Together to Celebrate the Art of Precision
What do the world’s finest cognacs and Swiss-made watches have in common? One word: precision. Hennessy recently joined Wempe and Galerie to celebrate the art of precision at a cognac tasting where guests were invited to experience Hennessy Paradis Impérial as well as the craft of watchmaking at Wempe’s New York flagship boutique on Fifth Avenue. “The Hennessy cognac committee tastes about 10,000 eaux-de-vie a year,” says Carolin Ruwe, corporate and private client manager for Hennessy. “Only 10 have the potential to one day become Hennessy Paradis Impérial.”
Hennessy Paradis Impérial is a contemporary blend crafted by Hennessy’s former master blender Yann Fillioux, whose family has honed and protected a selection of eaux-de-vie for 250 years. Its signature is a mix of jasmine and orange blossom aromas, with a subtle smokiness to the taste, a richness that derives from the incredible consistency of the process by which the eaux-de-vie are chosen.
During this process, the master blender and eight handpicked tasters (the comité de dégustation, or “tasting committee”) test some 10,000 eaux-de-vie each year at Hennessy’s headquarters in Cognac, France. Of these, per Ruwe, only a handful are selected for Paradis Impérial, a testimony to its superior quality.
Likewise, Wempe, which is a family-run company founded by Gerhard D. Wempe in 1878, employs over 60 watchmakers and master watchmakers in 34 showrooms and brand boutiques throughout Europe and the United States, with, according to Wempe president Ruediger Albers, at least one master watchmaker at each showroom. At the event, guests looked on as one of these craftsmen expertly built a watch, demonstrating the art of precision before their eyes.
Hennessy Paradis Impérial was served neat at room temperature in tulip-shaped crystal glasses—the optimal conditions for serving, according to Ruwe. “You can have all the machinery in the world for both a watchmaker and a master distiller,” says Ruwe, “but if you do not have the people who can actually provide this manual craft, then you can’t create a watch and you cannot create a cognac.”