Courvoisier is a producer of cognac based at the Chateau de Jarnac, in the Cognac region of France. Courvoisier was founded by wine and spirits merchants Emmanuel Courvoisier and Louis Gallois in the early part of the 19th century. In 1811, Napoleon visited their warehouses enjoyed his visit so much that upon his exile to St. Helena in 1815, he requested that hundreds of bottles of Courvoisier's cognac be sent to him.
As a distillery, the Courvoisier company was founded in 1828, and was moved to its current location in 1843 by the sons of Emmanuel and Louis, Felix Courvoisier and Jules Gallois. In 1869, Napoleon III granted the company the title "Official Supplier to the Imperial Court", which spurred sales throughout Europe.
In 1909, the Simon family assumed control of the company and introduced the Napoleon silhouette to the bottle. In 1964, Hiram Walker bought the company, and in turn, Courvoisier has been owned by Allied Lyons, Pernod-Ricard, and now Fortune Brands, a part of Beam Global Spirits. Today, Courvoisier is one of the "Big Four" cognac houses, and produces millions of cases a year.
Courvoisier makes a range of cognac that starts with VS and VSOP and extends through Initiale Extra and L'Esprit de Courvoisier. While most of their cognac is from the regions of Petite Champagne and Grand Champagne (blends of these two regions are called Fine Champagne), their VS has a proportion of Fins Bois fruit in it, and their Initiale Extra is a blend of Grand Champagne and Borderies, which gives the cognac a violet aroma.
While there are legal requirements for VS, VSOP, and XO cognacs, many of Courvoisier's trade names have no legal requirements attached to them. Most often, trade material is written to say "a blend of forty cognacs aged up to twenty years". Note that this is different than "a blend of forty cognacs, each aged for twenty years".