Liqueur Producer 2019: Distillery Merlet & Fils
Established in 1850, this family-run company knows a thing or two about distillation, spending over a century producing eaux-de-vie.
But in the mid-1970s, a financially necessary diversification saw a change in focus, from Cognac production to that of fruit liqueurs. Under the guidance of fifth-generation distiller Gilles Merlet, the company replaced some of the family’s vines with blackcurrant bushes destined for crème de cassis liqueur. Its incredible success led to a full range of world-renowned liqueurs that has been traded under the Merlet brand ever since.
In 2001, Merlet joined forces with an American bourbon distillery to launch premium liqueurs made from vodka, Cognac and exotic fruit juices. Today, half the business is made up of private label production, from vodka to rum, as well as bottling contracts.