Raphaëlle de Panafieu weaves links between cognac and crafts.
I discovered Cognac in December 2017. I turned up a novice and left as a hardened enthusiast in all matters and trades linked to the development and blend of eaux-de-vie. The wicker of the demijohns. The oak in embers. The copper of the pot stills… But what moved me the most is the fact that no other craft tells of the passing of time as well.
Hundreds of years. Stored, tasted, blended, transmitted. The historical depth of the “product” gives the Cognac makers an unrivalled aura in a nod to the past and a wink to the future. The cellar master, through daily and patient tastings, plays with history. The link between Cognac and art forms starts there, in this relation to time and the transmission of an expertise projected onto the centuries to come.
Said expertise, owned by the masters of the craft, can be accompanied by technology. Artificial intelligence could optimize the hybridisation and the flavours that derive from tasting an eau-de-vie for instance. However, no algorithm can break free from time’s natural enrichment.