The first "BNIC Cognac Educator" Program, held in Cognac from December 5th to 8th, 2010, was voted a resounding success by participants and organizers.
Organized by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), this new program is designed to give in-depth knowledge of the complexities of Cognac to wine and spirits educators from around the world. It includes visits to Cognac houses, distillers and coopers, plus lectures on all aspects of Cognac, including AOC requirements, history, terroir, tasting, the international Cognac market today, etc. A written and oral exam takes place at the end of the course.
The 3-day program attracted 12 candidates from France, the UK, Germany and the United States. The panels of examiners were highly impressed with the performances of all candidates, awarding everyone the Cognac Educator gold diploma. Additionally, three participants received the special mention of the jury:
- Bridget Albert, USA, spirits consultant, Southern Wine & Spirits, Illinois
- Anthony Stockbridge, UK, WSET educator and member of the Association of Wine Educators
- Emile Chaillot, French bartender and international trainer at Ugo & Spirits
The 12 Cognac Educators now have the mission to spread the Cognac message in their respective countries, thanks to teaching aids and product supplied by the BNIC.
"'We were delighted with the level of knowledge about Cognac and the skills of the participants," said Jérôme Durand, BNIC's Director of Marketing and Communication, "but also with the interest they showed and the passion they recognised in the producers and professionals they met during the course. This has been a brilliant start and we're looking forward to more courses in the future as education is the key."