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 Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen

Bache-Gabrielsen (marketed in France under the name Dupuy) is a brand of cognac that is over 100 years old. The brand was originally marketed as Rustad & Bache-Gabrielsen in Norway. Today, it is consistently the top selling cognac in Norway, selling over one million bottles annually.

Bache-Gabrielsen´s cognacs are so beloved in Norway that it even has a large and active fan club.

Falling in love with a beautiful French woman was the reason why Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen from Holmestrand, set up in the heart of Cognac. By working hard and making wise choices, Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen and Peter Anton Rustad from Ås became the owners of the Dupuy cognac house. After a while they set their sights on the Scandinavian market. Four generations later, millions of people regularly enjoy the drinks produced by this quality conscious, traditional company.

The fairytale started over 100 years ago–in 1905. The young Lieutenant, Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen, left the army when he was 20 and traveled to Cognac in order to acquire some practical working experience in a foreign country that appealed to both his heart and his brain. Peter Anton Rustad had already arrived in the region in 1893, and in 1905 he purchased A. Edmond Dupuy, a trading company that had been formed in 1852, and chose Thomas as his partner in the venture.

In 1906, Thomas settled in Cognac for good when he married Miss Odette Villard who came from a vineyard just outside Cognac. With their marriage in 1906 and the new business, any plans to return permanently to Norway were abandoned. The couple had three sons, René, who took over the running of the company, Eric, who became a lawyer, and Guy, who became a doctor. All three sons left behind large families in France.

Even though Thomas lived in France, he was keen to teach his children about Norwegian traditions, i.e. the outdoor life, Norwegian food and Norwegian Christmas customs, and his home offered hospitality to young Norwegians in Cognac. Thomas remained a Norwegian citizen and was often called home to undertake refresher military service. He also maintained contact with his Norwegian family, and this contact has been upheld by subsequent generations of the Bache-Gabrielsen family.

During the first few years, their cognac was marketed under the name of Rustad & Bache-Gabrielsen, in addition to the company name Dupuy. Their connections with Scandinavia were extremely good, and this was where they acquired their first stable markets. Peter Rustad, who had served as the Norwegian Consul in Cognac, died in a motorcycle accident in 1916, and Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen was forced to continue the business on his own.

The cognac house is currently run by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen´s grandson, Christian, who will in time hand over the helm to his son Hervé. Bache-Gabrielsen is a medium-sized, fourth generation family company that has been extremely successful on both the Norwegian/Scandinavian markets and elsewhere.

At the island of Myken you will find a tiny fishing community, which exists almost in spite of the forces of nature. The activities include Arctic whisky distillery and a station of weatherobservatory. Bache-Gabrielsen buys liquor produced on Myken. The spirit is undertaking to France by boats.

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