Frequently Asked Questions

    About Martell Cognac

    What is Martell?
    Martell® is the oldest of the great Cognac houses with 300 years of passion and audacious craftsmanship.

    What’s the history of the Martell brand? Where can I learn more?
    Founded in 1715 by Jean Martell, Maison Martell is the oldest of the great Cognac houses. After Jean Martell’s death in 1753, his widow Rachel Martell took over, vowing to uphold its vision and integrity. Remaining in the family over generations, Martell Cognac has since been served at the coronation of King George V of England, on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary, and in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

    To learn more about Martell’s incredible history and heritage, visit Maison Martell.

    Where is Martell Cognac made?
    Martell Cognac is made in Cognac, France. The grape-growing area of Cognac is located near the Atlantic coast. This white, sun-blessed land has a mild ocean climate that encourages optimum growth of the region’s predominant grape variety, Ugni Blanc. The Cognac region is divided into six vineyard areas, or crus – Borderies, Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Bois Ordinaire. The crus are situated in concentric circles, Borderies and Grande Champagne at the heart. The soil within each area or cru has its own specific characteristics that give the eau-de-vie a distinct aromatic profile. Borderies, the smallest cru and signature cru of Martell, accounts for just five percent of cognac vineyards and is renowned for its elegant eaux-de-vie, dominated by notes of flowers and candied fruit.

    How is Martell Cognac made?
    When Jean Martell founded Maison Martell, he already had his eye on the Borderies, the smallest and rarest of cognac crus. The grapes that grow in the silica-clay soils of the Borderies give its eaux-de-vie distinctive floral aromas and an exceptional smoothness. It is this unique terroir that lends the finest Martell Cognacs their hallmark elegance and subtlety. Once harvested, these grapes are distilled into clear white wine, beginning its transformation into eau-de-vie. To ensure authentic flavor, traditional copper pot stills are still used to heat the wine. As it simmers away, the vapor rises up through the still head, passing through the swan neck and into the coil, where it condenses to form a clear, warm liquor. Of the great cognac houses, Martell is the only one to distill exclusively clear wines (from which all sediments and impurities have been removed), in order to produce exceptionally fine eaux-de-vie.

    Once distilled, the eaux-de-vie are aged in oak barrels, providing the eau-de-vie with its amber color and to help it develop the last stage of its aromatic personality. Maison Martell has always exclusively used barrels made of fine-grained oak – its special feature being that it transmits subtle, well-balanced aromas to the eaux-de-vie, lending them notes of vanilla, dried fruit, red fruit, chutney and flowers.

    When the eaux-de-vie have matured, they are removed from the oak barrels and placed in glass demijohns. This stops the aging process, keeping the eaux-de-vie in their perfectly matured state. At this point, the finest eaux-de-vie are stored in the Jean Martell cellar, where some attain a great age, biding their time until, perhaps centuries later, they are used to make the rarest of cognacs. Each eau-de-vie has a unique character, shaped not only by the cru from which it originated, but also by the choices made during the ageing process, such as the type of oak barrel used the length of time it was left to mature. Like a singular note in a complex symphony, the Cellar Master must know how to introduce and combine each tone to create a perfect harmony.

    Learn more about our craftsmanship.

    What does Martell Cognac taste like?
    The taste depends on a number of factors including length of aging as well as the crus (or area) in which the grapes are sourced from.

    To compare the different tasting notes across our liquids, see our comparator.

    How should I store Martell Cognac?
    Proper storage is essential for preserving the integrity of cognac over time. Cognac should be stored upright in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations, just like any fine wine. Additionally, ensuring a tight seal on the bottle helps prevent oxidation, preserving the freshness and vitality of the spirit. With proper care, Martell Cognacs can be enjoyed for generations to come.

    For additional tips, see our cognac storage essentials.

    What is the shelf life of Martell Cognac? How long can I keep it for?
    The shelf life of Martell Cognac varies depending on storage conditions. While eaux-de-vie can be aged in oak casks for several decades, once the Cognac is bottled, certain steps are necessary to maintain its quality.

    Unlike wine, Cognac doesn’t mature further in the bottle. However, if stored with an intact cork and without excessive exposure to air, a bottle of Cognac can last for a long time.

    Note that the more air in the bottle, the more it may subtly alter the flavor of your Cognac. While open, Cognac can remain drinkable for months, but you may notice a gradual change in taste over time.

    How many different products does Martell have? What are they?
    Our collection includes signatures like Martell VS, Martell Blue Swift, and Martell Cordon Bleu, as well as limited-edition releases and rare cognacs. Learn more about our collection.

    How to Enjoy

    How should I drink Martell Cognac?
    However it suits your tastes! Whether you prefer it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, Martell offers a refined and delightful drinking experience. For more tips, see our guide to drinking Cognac.

    What cocktails can I make with Martell Cognac?
    If you’re looking for a cocktail, we recommend starting with the bold and smooth Old Fashioned, bubbly and refreshing Swift & Ginger or the fruity and sweet Peach Ball Punch.

    For more cocktail recommendations, visit our official cocktail page for recipes crafted with Martell.

    What can you mix with Martell Cognac?
    Martell Cognac is a versatile spirit, and there are plenty of options for mixers. You can combine it with citrus juices and fruit liqueurs for a flavorful twist, add a touch of simple syrup or bitters for balance, or experiment with coffee for a bold combination.

    For more inspiration, visit our cocktail collection.

    What type of glass should I use to drink Martell Cognac?
    Martell Cognac can be enjoyed in a variety of glasses! Depending on if you enjoy cognac neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail, the glass can elevate any cognac tasting experience.

    To learn more, visit our guide to Cognac glasses.

    Shop & Visit

    Where can I buy Martell Cognac?
    Depending on where you are located, you can find Martell Cognacs near you using our store locator. Simply enter your address, and it will provide you with a list of nearby stores, restaurants, and bars where you can purchase Martell. You can also have a bottle brought to you via delivery services including ReserveBar, Instacart, UberEats, and Flaviar.

    How can I tell if I have an authentic bottle of Martell Cognac?
    We advise purchasing Martell Cognac only from reputable, licensed retailers. To verify authenticity, inspect the bottle labels for clear, high-quality printing and ensure they are properly aligned with no errors. Authentic Martell bottles are consistently filled, sealed, and free of any debris in the liquid.

    If you ever have any doubts or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Where is the Martell brand home? Does Martell host tastings and tours?
    Our brand home is located in Cognac, France. You can explore the rich heritage and exceptional craftsmanship of Martell through our immersive tours and tastings.

    Learn more about booking options, itineraries, and available experiences.

    Nutritional Information

    What is the nutritional information for Martell? How many calories are in a serving?
    See our nutritional information.

    What ingredients are in Martell Cognac?
    Cognac is an amber colored spirit made from double distilled white wine that is then aged for a minimum of two years. The grapes must be grown in one of the six crus surrounding the region of Cognac. Cognac must be made from at least 90% Ugni Blanc grapes and the final 10% may be made from Folignan, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Sélect, Montils or Sémillon grapes.

    Explore more at What is Cognac Made From?

    Does Martell Cognac have additives?
    The use of the name cognac is protected under French law. It is an AOC, which stands for Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (controlled designation of origin). Per AOC rules, just four components are legally allowed to be added to your cognac: water, all-natural sugar, caramel and wood flavoring called boisé. However, AOC rules only permit no greater than 4% of additives per total volume. Additionally, Martell cognac does not contain chemical preservatives or sulfites.

    Is Martell Cognac kosher?
    Martell Cognacs are not certified kosher.

    Contact Us

    Where can I follow Martell on social media?
    You can stay updated with Martell on social media at Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and YouTube.

    I have a business inquiry/media inquiry/product question. How do I get in contact with Martell?
    In order to get in touch with us, we welcome you to complete our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Is Martell hiring? Where can I find out about open roles?
    To learn more about open roles at Martell or our family of Pernod Ricard USA brands, click here.

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