Message in a bottle:  The true art of Hennessy, V.S.O.P  lies in bringing everything together. In this spirit, the brand recently teamed up with renowned graphic designer Peter Saville to capture the blend’s unique harmony in a new limited edition bottle.

Saville was the art director and co-founder of Factory Records, where his album sleeve designs for Joy Division and New Order, among other pop groups, attained cult status in the Eighties. In addition to album covers, Saville is responsible for numerous iconic works of culture and fashion, and has contributed his artistic skills to, amongst others, Selfridges, Pringle, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and adidas.


For Saville, a first visit to Cognac proved to be a transformative experience. “I knew of Cognac without really knowing it,” the artist explains. Once familiarised with the process of cognac making, Saville was drawn to the inherent contrast of V.S.O.P’s natural origins with the cosmopolitan settings in which the drink is usually showcased. “It seemed to me as though the distillation process did not end with the grape itself; cognac continues to be rarified by its context,” the artist observes.

Intrigued by the unique notion of contrast, Saville set out to reconnect the V.S.O.P brand with its seemingly contradictory dual reality. The artist’s exploration began by delving into Cognac’s roots, both literally and figuratively.

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Saville quickly focused his research on the distillation process and the vine itself. Browsing through a data bank eventually produced a scientific rendering of one of the vine protein’s genomes, a notion that intrigued the artist both aesthetically and philosophically. By reinterpreting the genome sequence in his signature style, as a colour-coded representation of the grape, Saville quickly broke out of the mathematical context to arrive at a freeform artistic approach.

The Hennessy V.S.O.P by Peter Saville limited edition bottle offers up a “pattern of life”: a unique and remarkable sequence of natural and synthetic colors that convey eternal themes through an entirely contemporary work of art. Cast against an elegant, matte gold ground, the color scheme, a grid-like, seemingly random yet perfectly ordered composition of rich, muted earth tones and “chemical” brights such as neon pink, electric blue and orange, immediately conveys a buoyant, celebratory feeling. A variation of the same “DNA” motif recurs in gold on a vibrant, specially designed gift box embossed with holographic lettering.


Hennessy has  recently announced the inauguration in March of the Hennessy 250 Tour, an artistic and cultural event celebrating the legendary Cognac makers 250th anniversary. The tour will touch down in iconic landmarks in five cities chosen for their significant historical and cultural affinities with the Maison Hennessy. Johannesburg is one of the chosen cities, and the Circa Gallery will host the travelling exhibit in August this year, featuring work by well-renowned artists who will pay homage to the brand.


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