Prominent cognac figure Max Cointreau died last week, aged 94.
Owner of Frapin's Domaine Château de Fontpinot, former president of Cointreau SA, and a French foreign trade advisor, Cointreau learnt to distill cognac in the 1940s. While joint managing director of the Renaud Cointreau Group, he worked on both Frapin Cognac and Gosset Champagne.
His involvement in the cognac industry, and the drinks trade more widely, extended far beyond his own businesses. He was president of the National Union of Liquor Manufacturers, of the GIE Grandes Liqueurs de France and president of the Social Commission of the National Council of Wine and Spirit for eight years.
He was also nationally recognised, achieving France's highest decoration - Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur - as well as Mérite National and Palmes Académiques.
Cointreau died in his home town of Gensac la Pallue (of which he was mayor from 1969 to 2001) near Cognac, on Wednesday last week.