Yes, you have most definitely read that title correctly. It seems that bad harvests throughout 2018 will be having a delayed impact on Cognac production (bottles on shelves) through the back end of 2019 and into 2020 as well.
What actually happened?
More than 10,000 hectares of vineyards were damaged in late May, as pebble-sized hailstones pelted the region. Around 14% of the brandy-producing vines of Cognac were affected, with many vineyard owners saying that they had lost all hope of harvesting any grapes.
What does this mean?
A grape shortage means that Cognac manufacturers have less of the key ingredients they need to make our beloved cognac and with 50% of the cognac market sitting with Hennessy, there is even more pressure for the brand and their suppliers.
Hennessy has been planting more vines, but new vineyards will take up to six years to start producing usable grapes – even Hennessy’s youngest Cognac is aged between two and eight years.
Can I still get my hands on some?
It’s expected the shortage will really begin to take hold of stock late into this year and early into the next. Experts are suggesting that Cognac lovers stock up on more expensive bottles of Hennessy, such as the V.S.O.P., the X.O. and Hennessy Black.
Luckily, we currently have all the above key bottles of Hennessy in stock (at the time of writing this blog) and so we recommend getting your order in as it could be a while before we see new stock of Hennessy hitting out shelves again.