NICOLAS DELAMAIN - The Delamain name can be traced back to Cognac in 1625 when Nicolas Delamain, a Huguenot from Saintonge, relocated to England to evade religious persecution. He became the protégé of the Duke of Buckingham and was knighted by Charles I in 1639. He received the Delamain coat of arms, an eagle rising atop a gold shield depicting three bloody crosses, which is still represented on every bottle of his family’s Cognac.
JAMES DELAMAIN - Six generations of Delamains remained in Great Britain until James Delamain returned to Jarnac in 1759 at age 21. He began working for a Cognac négociant named Issac Ranson, selling to the Irish market on commission. James eventually married Ranson’s only daughter in 1762, which was enough to become a partner and successor to his business, now called Ranson & Delamain. After James’ death in 1800, the laws of inheritance created a controversy among his seven children as well as his sons-in-law which proved insurmountable, and the firm was liquidated by 1817.
Just seven years later, in 1824, James Delamain’s grandson, Anne-Philippe Delamain, and his two cousins from the Roullet family began a partnership under the name of Roullet & Delamain, marking the firm’s official founding. In 1920, James’ great-grandsons, Jacques and Robert, purchased Roullet’s shares and the firm became Delamain & Co. In the same year, they christened their Pale & Dry XO, defining the inimitable Delamain style. Robert would go on to author the still-definitive work on Cognac, Histoire du Cognac, published in 1935. He also served on the commission which, in 1936, would set the legal boundaries of Cognac and its crus.
ONLY THE BEST
They are exclusively a merchant house, so they do not own any vineyards of their own and never have, but their search for quality is exceptional. That is also the main reason they do not have any wine-growers under contract. Every year they sample hundreds of eau-de-vie and already aged cognacs from local growers to select only the best of the grande champagne cru and every year each farmer very much hopes he gets the privilege of being selected.
Today the company is led by direct descendants of the Delamains, Charles Braastad, and Patrick Peyrelongue and although the champagne brand Bollinger has acquired a majority of the stocks, these two men are still very much in control.