Special edition: Château de Versailles Exclusive Edition VSOP Cognac, inspired by the palace of King Louis XIV in Versailles

FRANCE. Martell, the world’s oldest Cognac house, feted its newly forged partnership with the historic Palace of Versailles with a spectacular launch party and a new special-edition product, Château de Versailles Exclusive Edition.

The limited-edition VSOP will be launched exclusively by travel retailer DFS Group in the new Singapore Changi Terminal 3, which opens in January 2008. Initially, it will be rolled out as a one-litre bottle featuring the striking Versailles Sun King motif, and it will also be introduced in international markets in a 70cl format.

The special-edition Cognac comes in a luxurious gift box that opens in the shape of a golden flower. It retails at S$99 in duty free, a 30% premium to the standard Martell VSOP.

Speaking to The Moodie Report on the occasion of a banquet held inside the palace to mark the partnership, Pernod Ricard Asia Managing Director Alexandre Ricard said the special edition was designed to “create dynamism” in the spirits sector.

Merchandising units will be installed at Changi T3 to showcase the product, which he envisaged being a collector’s item as well as a gift. Tasting opportunites will also be on offer.

Talking of T3 in general, Ricard commented that the new shops in the terminal were “really nice, and set new standards in the industry with their modern design”.

Ricard pointed to the continued premiumisation trend among Asian travellers, who are trading up to the group’s upscale products such as Martell Création and the new Chivas Regal 25yo, which is being rolled out now in Asia (see earlier stories).

Ricard said he chose Changi as the exclusive launchpad for the new VSOP for two reasons – firstly, Martell is the leading spirits brand in duty free at that location and secondly, the new T3 was opening at the same time. He observed that there is a “significant” arrivals business in Singapore, estimated at two-thirds of turnover, as Singaporean travellers returned home.


About the Château de Versailles partnership

Martell’s long-term partnership with the Château de Versailles, the palace of King Louis XIV, runs until 2012. During this time, the company is sponsoring a number of cultural projects, the first of which is a major exhibition entitled “When Versailles was Furnished with Silver” – a reference to the period when the palace contained furniture made from silver.

Elaborating on the link-up, Martell Communications Director Elisabeth Ricard said it was meant to reflect the two organisations’ commitment to the French art of living, elegance and refinement as they are both members of the French luxury goods association Comité Colbert. The establishment of the house of Martell in 1715 coincided with the end of Louis XIV’s reign, she added.

In 2008, Martell will help restore a room in the Château de Versailles as part of the company’s €800,000 sponsorship agreement with the palace.


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