April 20, 2015
LVMH-owned spirits maker Moët Hennessy hit the high seas on an 18th-century frigate to pay homage to its pioneering spirit.
On April 18, Moët Hennessy, in support of the Hermione La Fayette Association, saluted the Hermione, an exact replica of the frigate ship that brought La Fayette to the United States in 1780, as it left port in Port des Barques, France. The 21 houses under the LVMH umbrella have a longstanding respect “for tradition and know-how” and this voyage will help the conglomerate’s “passing on of expertise.”
For the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, Moët Hennessy included two 250 liter barrels on board the Hermione. Within the barrels is a blend of cognac created to mark the 250th anniversary of maison Hennessy, founded in 1765 by Richard Hennessy (see story).
The ship itself was rebuilt to be an exact replica of the frigate in 1780 and was constructed using the same techniques and tools of that time. Construction of the Hermione began in 1997.
With its crew of 78, the Hermione will make the transatlantic voyage and make dozens of symbolic stops along the U.S. coast, from Yorktown, Virginia to Boston before finishing its trip at Halifax, Canada before returning across the Atlantic. On its return trip the Hermione will stop at Brest, France before concluding the voyage at its home port of Rochefort, France in mid-August.
Hermione is leaving to America
When the Hermione reaches the United States, the due of Hennessy cognac barrels will be auctioned at Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington. The auction proceeds will benefit cultural and charitable associations.
Events throughout the voyage, organized by Moët Hennessy, will celebrate French-American relations.