The House of Hine
The House of Hine stands on the banks of the River Charente deep in Cognac country. In the ancient cellars behind little has changed in the 250 years since the Hine family's great cognac journey began in the 18th century. Thomas Hine the father a linen merchant — and quite a cognac connoisseur — decided to send his son Thomas (one of eleven children) to France to learn French and the art of making cognac. Thomas then aged sixteen left his family home and headed for France setting foot in Nantes in 1791 he then travelled to Bordeaux where he stayed for a while before continuing to Jarnac a small town just east of Cognac. Since 1763 Jarnac had been the base for the négociant's premises where Thomas was to create his father's favourite cognac. In the early days Thomas began his employment as a personal assistant a respected and worthy position. Thomas Hine earned a reputation for being a serious hard worker but not lacking in a good sense of humour. His in-depth knowledge of finance and business good commercial sense together with his French and English skills gave him special status. He expanded what was to become the traditional business of the Hine company; making bespoke cognacs for English wine merchants. When his father-in-law died his mother-in-law chose Thomas — rather than one of her own sons — to take charge of the family cognac business. In 1817 Thomas gave his name to the company: Thomas Hine & Co. Just a few years later in 1822 he died of pneumonia at the age of 47 thirty years after he first arrived in Jarnac. His eldest son Thomas Georges just old enough to take over the reins of the company was to succeed him thus continuing the extraordinary story of the Hine family and Hine Cognac — today with its sixth generation. Today the expertise of the family ancestors continues to live on through Thomas Hine's direct descendents.