THE STORY OF DUMAY
Reviving an old cognac distillery of our grandfathers, with the skills and knowledge from today. Dumay Cognac is made with grapes from six vineyards in the Cognac area, providing the ingredients for the perfect craft.
Felix Dumay, the godfather of the production, was born at the distillery and learned how to produce Cognac in his young years. Later, he became a marine surgeon, travelled the world and sailed to destinations such as Port-au-Prince, Manhattan and Hong Kong. He was among the first to sail the Suez Canal in 1869, and kept track of many of his ventures which he described in letters to his brother.
On his faraway trips, he always carried a flask of Cognac with him - which he liked to share with people he met and appreciated. Today’s brand reflects this notion of sharing, the search for pleasure, and the aim of bringing Cognac back on stage as one of the world’s most authentic spirits.
Felix Dumay kept record of the creatures he encountered during his faraway trips. Those animals serve today -in a humoristic way- as the ambassadors of the brand.
The Suez Canal in 1872
Dumay makes high quality, craft-distilled cognacs. All of our artisan cognacs are produced with local grapes, French casks, an extremely pure rock-filtered water and natural ingredients, all sourced locally.
The cognacs of the Dumay House are based on rigorous, old-fashioned distillation methods.
What creates great distilled spirits is not only the intervention of the distiller, but the full value chain: contrarily to other spirits categories, Cognac sources all its ingredients locally within confined boundaries. Otherwise it is not called Cognac.
Craft methods are about authenticity, personal attention, and love of one’s work.
Manual harvest in the 1920s
Felix Dumay - A True Story.
On his first faraway trip with the French marine in 1852 he stored a small flask of precious cognac in his suitcase, with the intention to share it with those he would meet and appreciate during his expeditions. With his crew, he explored the Northern Seas, sailed Cape Hoorn, was among the first to navigate the Suez Canal in 1869, and discovered the marvelous harbours of Hong Kong and Macao. From there he purchased several handmade objects: statues, paintings and little storage boxes, all of which he brought back to the family estate in the Cognac area, and that are still there.
After a heavy storm on the way back from a trip to Hong Kong in 1854, the vice admiral of the sailing ship was swept away into the seas, but rescued by one of the young sailors on the boat. With a broken foremast and some injuries among the sailors, yet in relief and appreciation for the achieved rescue, Felix Dumay gathered the troops around his secret bottle, containing what Victor Hugo some years later called “the liquor of the gods” – some drops of finest Cognac from his family estate.
In his diaries, Felix noted :
“It was a fearsome but also strengthening experience. We didn’t know if we would make it through the gale. Baptiste, this young boy from Southern France, proved to be brave as one single man could be. Against our orders, he plunged over the railing, dove into the whitewater, and crawled across the giant waves. Within minutes, the crew managed to reverse the ship. With two of the longer ropes on the boat - and under the encouraging roar of the entire crew – my comrades and myself pulled the boy and the wounded admiral back up onto the vessel. Several hours later, when the sea got calmer, I gathered the troops in relief.
I ordered Baptiste to go down to my cabin, and to pick up the precious little object I had kept at the bottom of my suitcase. I knew of its convivial value, but had not imagined a moment as powerful to share it with my companions.“
The men behind the production
Three men with a passion for taste, terroir and esthetics. Their search for authentic things, their friendship and their epicurious lifestyle brought them around the table.
Inspired by the work of Felix Dumay, they decided to rethink the way Cognac should be produced, perceived and consumed.
After months of dedication and hard work, they had no doubt: there was a space on the shelf for a well crafted and truly distinguished cognac. So they did it.
Now the team is composed of many more beautiful minds. We work with humans who have creativity, talent, and commitment. Their knowledge, their work, is not theoretical: it is deeply engaged in the physical world, a kind of work that is getting scarce.
Together they perform alchemical wonders.
A six vineyards Cognac
Our team composes the very best from six vineyards, which are all part of the local Dumay production. The cognac from these six vineyards serves as a benchmark for our final craft. We control the full value chain on site, from the vineyard to the bottle.
We have an in-house geologist who analyzes the vineyards step by step, which allows us to understand each parcel of land perfectly and compose the perfect craft.
In 2016, our production was awarded 'Outstanding Silver' at the prestigious IWSC in London.