BEATRICE COINTREAU HONORARY PRESIDENT
::Women have always been active players, and not just consumers of spirits.
Right now it seems pioneering to give them a voice.
Yet, they have astuteness, which they have cultivated with aptitude in the domain of wine growing, combining the Spirit of business, the Spirit of transmission and the Spirit of pleasure.
When the men left for the battlefronts or travelled far during long months to export their products, it was the women who took over all the work: they pruned the vines, ploughed the cereal fields and oversaw the distillation and each step of the process.
Today, there are more and more women managing the big French distilleries and/or in strategic management positions in large international groups and/or having professions as distillers, oenologists, sommeliers, negociants, journalists, etc...
I myself, without any economic link with the liqueur “Cointreau”, managed a Cognac distillery for almost 25 years.
Enterprising and entrepreneurial, women manage stock control, which is sometimes more difficult than in other activities, with meticulousness. They do so with due restraint, a question of preconceived ideas, not of gender, while building character and pugnacity peculiar to those who relentlessly have everything to demonstrate and prove.
They have always possessed the educational and sensitising values of the terroir, this soil that feeds their families, a Spirit of transmission of respect and love for ancestral savoir-faire that perpetuates by often working in the shadow of father or husband, brother or son.
Even if they do not occupy centre stage as they might deserve, they are still there.
They are fine, subtle, varying and complex like these spirit beverages, savoured alone or mixed into cocktails, enhancing their flavours.
In short, women have the Spirit of Pleasure and know how to give value via an aesthetic approach – packaging; a fun approach – food and wine pairing, and finally an economic approach – the palette of these spirits that just like them has Spirit and Talent.