Earlier this month, Maison Martell unveiled Martell the Journey, an interactive and immersive visitor experience at its historic Gâtebourse site in Cognac.
By the end of their Martell journey, visitors will have gained a fascinating insight into the 300-year-old House. From the legacy of its founder Jean Martell to the specificities of terroir, distillation and ageing, through to the intriguing words, aromas and even sounds of the cognac-making process to the myriad ways to enjoy cognac.
With Martell the Journey, visitors can map out their voyage of discovery according to their interests and inclinations, which offer different and complementary perspectives on Maison Martell.
Heritage is richly illustrated with archive materials, tracing the history (since 1715) and international development of the House.
Savoir-Faire offers an encounter with the artisans whose specialist skills contribute, not only to the creation of Martell cognacs but to the House’s worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise.
Part des Anges is a multi-sensory pathway whose novel, interactive installations enable visitors to explore cognac in an entirely original way.
Martell the Journey was conceived by leading exhibition designer Nathalie Crinière She has created scenarios where the visitors is by turns both spectator and actor. Martell experts on hand to accompany visitors in their discovery, answer their questions and share additional information and anecdotes.
From the start, the audacity to set new standards
The starting point of Martell the Journey is the house of the founder Jean Martell, which stands on land he acquired as early as 1750. The subsequent development of the site flows into a video animation which spotlights such outstanding figures as Martell’shistory.
Here, too, visitors can discover treasures never before displayed from Maison Martell’s 5 kilometres of archives. These include records of the House’s first shipments to distant destinations, vintage photographs and advertisements, and historic occasions when Martell cognac has been served.
Authentic testimonies from the artisans of Martell cognac
From here, the itinerary continues into a succession of former cognac cellars, which retain evocative traces of their past life – sturdy beams, concrete floors, oak barrels and lingering aromas. Here, life-size video installation has a winegrower, a distiller and a cooper talk about their work as if they were engaging visitors in face-to-face conversation.
A 360° exploration of the Cognac region
Visitors are invited to step into a spectacular circular space for a 360° immersive experience. Projected in the centre of the area is the Martell swift emblem. By taking the bird in their hand, then moving it upwards or downwards, visitors can rise above the rooftops of Cognac to view Martell landmarks, or else explore the region’s terroirs with their different landscapes and characteristics.
From the rolling hills of Grande Champagne to the gentle slopes and groves of trees of Maison Martell’s signature Borderies cru, this installation brings vividly to life the House’s continuing attachment to the land.
A multi-sensory revelation of cognac
Another innovation of Martell the Journey is the way it conveys the sensorial appeal of cognac. One of the highlights of the experience is a large sculptural installation evoking the twisted form of a vine stock, which presents an array of interactive workshops.
Here, visitors can, for example, discover the different colours of cognac, compose a melody with the sounds of the cognac-making process, or create their own Martell cocktail recipe.
At the end of the journey, there is a tasting in the boutique, where visitors can sample one of three emblematic products: Martell VSOP Aged in Red Barrels, Martell Noblige or Martell Blue Swift.
“For more than 300 years, Maison Martell has had the audacity to do things differently and to set new standards,” said César Giron, CEO of Maison Martell. “This initiative, which opens up the House as never before, proves our ability to renew and refresh that vision constantly.
Equally important is the fact that Martell the Journey pays tribute to the work of our partners, many of whom have accompanied us for generations, and spotlights an ancestral savoir-faire that is vital to the region and recognised throughout the world.”
For more information and bookings visit martell.com.