Passion is more than a word to the Lherauds. It is total dedication. Heady, exhausting and all-encompassing. Day after day, in the community of Angeac-Charente that saw the birth of the family centuries ago, the Lherauds work together as one, writing a saga in which each plays a unique role. Since 1680, generations of the Lheraud family have lived in the same 10th-century house in the small village of Lasdoux in the heart of the Petite Champagne region. The family’s first cognac was made in 1802 - a few bottles of this rare and precious cognac are still kept in the Lherauds’ private cellar they call “Paradis.” Since that first bottling so many years ago, the Lheraud family has passed down the traditions and knowledge that it takes to produce their exceptional cognacs and armagnacs. When Andree and Guy Lheraud inherited the domaine in the 1960s, they experienced some difficult times, and yet they never gave up. “There was a force in us. We had the land and so we knew…” Andree lets the sentence complete itself. At that time, she was already handwriting the labels and applying them using a special flour-and-water glue. In 1970, Guy decided to stop selling the family’s cognac to outside producers, and started marketing it under Cognac Lheraud. Today, all Lheraud cognacs and armagnacs are made from grapes from their own vineyards, with all of the winemaking, distillation, aging, bottling and labels done by the Lheraud family. Listening to Guy Lheraud means being captivated by the warmth that exists in his family; the subject is never “I” but “we.” Work and success are shared in equal measures. “We make a good trio. We can’t do anything without each other. Without my wife and her packaging, my son and his blends, the company would not be where it is today,” says the patriarch. “But,” he adds with a coy smile, “Where would Laurent’s fine cognacs and my wife’s wonderful packaging be if the salesman didn’t do a good job?” Equally dedicated to the family’s heritage, Laurent Lheraud studied oenology, working with his parents from an early age. “We worked hard, but it wasn’t a sacrifice. I never considered doing anything else.” He now manages the domaine (Domaine de Lasdoux), from vineyard to distillation, following the traditions that have been handed down in the family from generation to generation.
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