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For the August Issue of BIN Magazine, I had the pleasure to write the feature story about NEFT Vodka, a truly unique brand, from the packaging, branding, and ingredients to...

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
‘Life is too short to just rush through it. We must enjoy life. Take time, relax and be present.”
These were the word spoke to us by Guy Lhéraud as we entered Cognac Lhéraud in Cognac, France.
He ought to know, as he is one of the producers the eau-du-vie known as the “water of life.” We left our city mentalities at the door and heeded his words, following him into his world.
In the U.S., Cognac is best known because of four large companies. But, there are smaller family-run businesses in the area, such as Cognac Lhéraud.
The Lhéraud famly has been growing grapes for 10 generations. The first six generations sold their grapes to the larger companies. Guy Lhéraud, a jovial, old-school Frenchman who constantly has a lit cigarette in his hand, decided in 1970 to stop selling their grapes to bigger producers. They began their own label and today he runs Cognac Lhéraud with his wife, children and grandchildren. The 10th generation member is his great-grandson who is 1 year old.