Bénédicte Hardy represents the fifth generation of Hardy Cognac makers. As Maison Hardy’s international ambassador, she has worked to build the company’s reputation in the USA. Maison Hardy owes its name to an authentic 19th century English gentleman, Anthony Hardy. Like any conscientious wine and spirit merchant, Hardy liked to get out of London as often as he could and head down to Charente to check on the progress of the finest Cognac crus. He finally succumbed to the region’s charms in 1863, relocating there permanently. He founded Maison Hardy in 1863. As a mark of his great affection for France and the French, he went so far as to adopt the Gallic form of his Christian name, henceforth being known as Antoine Hardy. He also adopted the iconic French cockerel as the emblem of his new company. Like other great cognac houses founded in the second half of the 19th century, Hardy benefited from the European public’s infatuation with cognac. Anthony quickly turned to eastern markets, in particular Germany and Russia. A great traveller, he loved exploring new markets. His commercial dynamism would be passed down from generation to generation.