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Courvoisier

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In 1835 Felix Courvoisier, a native of the Jura region, establishes the company in Jarnac, where he creates in 1843 the first Courvoisier company, in partnership with Jules Gallois.

1866 Felix Courvoisier dies without a male heir. His nephews and associates, the Curlier brothers manage the company until the the early 20th century.

In 1909, after buying out Courvoisier, the Simon family from England, starts building the brand identity of Courvoisier with such innovations as the silhouette of Napoleon on the Josephine bottle, now recognized and renowned worldwide.

In 1964 a transfer to Canadian group Hiram Walker. Courvoisier soon rises to worldwide leadership in the cognac category.

In 1986 the whole spirits sector is sold to the British group Allied Lyons, which became Allied Domecq in 1993 after merging with Pedro Domecq. Allied Domecq now ranks second in the worldwide spirits industry.

Before establishing the company in Jarnac, and as his father Emmanuel did before him, Felix Courvoisier worked in close association with the Gallois family, important wholesalers in wine and spirits in Bercy. As loyal suppliers to the Imperial Court, they had been honoured with Napoleon's visit at their warehouses in 1811. Legend has it that Napoleon made sure to bring several barrels of cognac on the ship which took him to St Helen, a treat much appreciated by English officers who named it "The Brandy of Napoleon".

The relations under the rule of Napoleon I lived on through the Second Empire, as Napoleon III granted Courvoisier the title of "official supplier to the Imperial Court" in 1869.

This certificate is now on display at the Courvoisier museum in Jarnac, with many other Napoleonic artifacts memorabilia such as his hat, a redingote and even a lock of the Emperor's hair.

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