The rapidly growing whiskey brand Uncle Nearest has secured ownership of Domaine Saint Martin. Located along the Charente River in the city of Cognac, France, this estate traces its lineage back 350 years, first to the Lord Mayor of Cognac, Philippe Fé de Ségeville, and subsequently to various cognac-makers including the Martell family, its four-generation custodian.
Encompassing more than 100 acres with Charente River frontage, the property adjoins a cooperage, cellars and a distillery. Furthermore, its 50 acres dedicated to Grande Champagne vineyards make it a leading Cognac producer. To be labeled Cognac, the spirit must be exclusively produced in the Cognac region of France, which comprises six distinct crus. The Grande Champagne cru stands out as among the most sought-after.
“The Uncle Nearest brand thrives on its profound story of love, honor, respect, and heritage. Our mission in Cognac echoes this essence,” says Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest Founder and CEO.
“Our brand strategy pivots from the norm. We are unveiling a short film first at several film festivals, then launching the brand,” adds Weaver, hinting at an exploration of Cognac’s history. Similar to The Story of Nearest Green, this cinematic portrayal of Cognac’s ascent across America, Europe, and Asia will be narrated by actor Jeffrey Wright, with filming commencing this Spring.
Spirits industry stalwart, Adrian Parker, takes the helm as president of this new venture, which is owned by Uncle Nearest, Inc., but will not share the same brand name. He is flanked by spirits professionals Brielle Caruso, who serves as Chief Marketing Officer, and Chauncey Hamlett from The Formulation Group, who heads innovation.
“Under Fawn’s guidance and innovative approach, the Uncle Nearest team has created a playbook for independent spirits that has never before been seen,” says Parker. “In four years, they have grown Nearest Green Distillery to the seventh most visited distillery in the world. While there recently, I observed cars backed up for 1.5 miles each way trying to get in, with more than 14,000 visiting that weekend. The Uncle Nearest team went from distribution in one state to all 50 states in less than two years and their sales now rank them in the top 10 of all ultra-premium American whiskey companies, the only independent company in that ranking.”
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