A long time ago, in 1952, Jeannine and Jacques CHOLLET, recently married, set their sights on a small farm near Cognac, in the commune of Boutiers St-Trojan. The farm comprised about 10 hectares, sufficient for 80 lots, but with very few vines. Even with their youth, their courage and their two work horses, Mirka & Baillard, it was not possible to make a living working these few pieces of land.
Jacques, with a fighting spirit, optimistic and a rugby player, would have to take risks and invest to develop the business - a herd of cattle, some pigs and planting vines.
In 1960 the first private phone in the area was installed at the CHOLLET's home and the telephone number 2 was assigned to them, followed by the first Renault D30 tractor.
The villagers were skeptical about these technological advances and changes in the Chollet household and feared for their financial survival.
But very quickly these investments began to pay off. New land and vineyards became available, tailor made for Jacques’ purpose. The heavy work was taken on by Jacques, the administration and managing the household was Jeannine’s responsibility because, as time went by, the family grew and eight children were born.
Always ready for a new challenge, in 1971 they decided to think big. With tools in hand, and with the help of their family and friends, they built their own distillery. This enabled them to distill for both wine growers and merchants. As soon as the building was finished the first cognac was produced. The du Planty Distillery was born. Now it was time for the trading activity to take over.
• 1977. The bottling business was launched and the range is expanded.
• 1995. The wine and agricultural activity is separated from that of the business. Jacques and Jeannine Chollet gave the vineyard to their son Bertrand and I, Christophe Chollet, take on the management of Chollet Cognac.
• 2008. My parents retired.
After 20 years working for the family business, now managing the Cognac business with my wife at my side, my aim is not to write the end of the story, but to add a few more chapters.
I especially want to thank and congratulate the founders of the business for the work they accomplished and the values they passed on to me.