For many years Baur au Lac Wines has been Switzerland's exclusive importer of the sumptuous Cognacs created by Dominic Park. The story goes back to the 1990s when Dominic Park decided to leave his job as a wine trader in London to create his own cognac house with the style he wanted. This is summed up by a very clean vision of what cognac should be: insist on the best origins and a very precise distillation and ageing to give a high-class product in a modern, elegant bottle.
The colour of Park cognacs is natural and results from a patient ageing of the eaux-de-vie. No caramel colouring is permitted and no rectification with concentrated tannins. All cognacs undergo a longer ageing than that imposed by law. Even the VS, the simplest cognac, matures for three and half years instead of the required two. The VSOP is aged for eight years instead of four, twice the minimum. As for the XO, Park lets it acquire its fullness over twenty years where nine suffice under the rules. Finally, the eaux-de-vie that go into the Extra, the Vieille Fine Champagne, in the top Cigar Blend, and into the Vieille Grande Champagne aged for forty to sixty years.
Spirits from Park
Nowadays, the Cognac Park style is unrivalled thanks to the expertise of the Tessendier & Fils distillery which, under the watchful eyes of the fourth generation Jerôme and Lilian, can tap into special reserves. The treasures include barrels and canisters of eaux-de-vie, the oldest of which are 130 years old, waiting to be expertly blended. For the real connoisseurs, the rare vintage bottlings are particularly interesting.
The traditional cognac bottle with its understated label already foretells the pleasures of tasting. The 20cl bottles make a nice flask to offer as a gift or to take anywhere to learn the magic of cognac.
What started out from humble beginnings over 20 years ago is now one of Valais’ flagship wineries and the byword for both a way of working in harmony with nature and premium wines, all of which strongly bring out their individual terroir.
At a young age, Jack Schlatter travelled from Switzerland to Dallas in the 1950s to work in the cotton trade. He later moved to Mexico and São Paulo (as a coffee tester) and back to Zurich to develop the cotton business in the Eastern bloc. But he always had one foot in Dallas and entered the real estate business there. The wine business also appealed to him early on. But it was a while before he met Bill Harlan, the owner of Merryvale.
Fattoria La Gerla / Sergio Rossi
Standing on La Gerla's terrace, one's view sweeps over Montalcino's peaceful landscape with its hills, vineyards, slim cypresses, and estates scattered all around. Nestled in the Colli Senesi to the south of Siena, the area comprises approx. 2000 hectares (up from just sixty hectares 50 years ago!).