New Products & Innovations

Paying ‘Omage’ to the Cognac Category

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Jan. 27, 2022

Few spirits have the mystique and history of brandy and Cognac. Sipped around fires, shared with friends in classic cocktails, and at the heart of countless celebrations, this beloved category has seen decades of growth and is poised for more. According to reporting from The Spirits Business, the category is projected to grow by over $303 million in the next four years. Not long ago, spirits impresario Julious Grant looked at the brandy and Cognac landscape and saw a need for a new, premium brandy straight from the heart of California.

The new taste

OMAGE, crafted in America from incredible Californian varietal grapes, pays homage to the illustrious history of Cognac, according to Grant. “When creating OMAGE,” he recently told us, “I had the thought of paying respect to Cognac’s history, craftsmanship, and process.” Part of that homage is the effort Grant and his team have put in to elevate the category and expand the idea of what is possible with American grapes. ”We didn’t let history, or the past, restrict our ability to improve on excellence,” he said. “OMAGE is respecting those that came before us. We respect the Cognac-making process and we are building on it and enhancing it because of the freedoms brandy provides. We are making it better to provide the current consumer the taste they want today.”

Consumer taste, according to Grant, is a major driving factor behind OMAGE’s creation, and Grant knows his consumers. They “are Polycultural,” he explained. “Our target consumers are highly social, highly mobile, indulge in their passions, and value exploration and discovery,” much like Grant and his team, working to create OMAGE.

“We see a gap in the market,” Grant said, “There is a huge market in value brandy, but then the market jumps to super-premium brandy. OMAGE is filling the gap that exists at the premium level.”

California love

France has long been seen by consumers as the home of premium brandy, and Grant aims to change that with OMAGE. ”There are many similarities to French Cognac,” he said. “Our use of different grape varieties and oak give us an edge on flavor development.” According to Grant, the warmer growing climate in California allows the grapes to develop more unique flavors than in the French Cognac growing region. “We work to be fruit-forward, and the climate of California allows us to ripen grapes ... without sacrificing acidity.”

Grant also credits California with providing high-quality fruit for OMAGE, which appeals to modern consumers who are “more and more conscious of quality ingredients and what they are putting into their bodies.” According to Grant, OMAGE’s grape selections and distillation process create “a more natural, authentic flavor” and allows the makers to “reduce the sweetness that you get in the value-brandy entries while also balancing the oak flavor that you get from the Cognac brands.”

The result is a beautifully balanced, approachable and enjoyable premium spirit made in the U.S.A. It’s ideal for enjoying neat, on the rocks, or in one of OMAGE’s specialty cocktails like the American Connection. We are proud to bring OMAGE to the market, and we look forward to connecting with you to see how this delightful new spirit can be a win for your business.