Ludacris Launches Cognac Brand in Bordeaux
Platinum-selling rapper Ludacris celebrated the launch of his cognac, Conjure, at a gala bash this past weekend in Bordeaux, France.
The initial announcement was made at Vinexpo, the world's leading wine and spirits trade show, held every year in Bordeaux, though Luda has been tweeting about the process for months, posting pictures and updates.
The launch party took place at an immense park in the city's center, where Luda arrived in a silver Bentley, holding a bottle of Conjure, where he was greeted by a variety of guests from members of Nelson Mandela's family to Melvin Dick, one of Wine industry's most powerful figures.
We had the pleasure of receiving an invitation to this event, and sampling the cognac (by which we mean drinking half a case), and we can testify to the elegance of the event and effectiveness of the spirits- the party didn't end til 7 AM.
The cognac is a joint venture with Birkedal Hartmann Cognac, a Norwegian-owned cognac company. Conjure, which Luda blended himself, has more than just his endorsement, he has been involved in every step of the blending, naming and branding process.
"It's not just me attaching my name to it," the Atlanta rapper/actor said. "Whenever I involve myself in a business, I submerge myself in it."
In January, Luda spent a week in Bordeaux and Cognac, planning campaign strategy with the Birkedal Hartmann team, and blending the cognac with master blender Philippe Braastad Tiffon. Luda tasted over 40 potential brandies for the blend before choosing the combination of flavors that most appealed to his tastes.
"I wanted to learn as much as possible." Luda said of the experience. "It was great. It gave me a new appreciation for Cognac."
Though cognacs usually display their grade, whether VO, VS or XO, Conjure is a special blend of different grades, which makes it a unique brand in the marketplace. Also, it goes well with a variety of other liquors, from champagne to St. Germaine, and of course, Luda's drink of choice; "Conjure & Coke."
The first orders will ship to Norway by July 1, with American consumers receiving the product in the fall.
Conjure Cognac is expected to ship 1 million bottles in America this year, joining Nuvo and Hpnotiq as successful liquor brands targeting the urban market.