Bénédicte Hardy was born near Cognac, France in Angoulême on March 18, 1957. She is a fifth generation member of the famous Hardy family, producers of Cognac. Her ancestor, Antoine Hardy, originally of English and Scottish descent was a merchant who fell in love with the French Countryside and decided to become a French citizen settling in Cognac in the second part of the 1800’s. After years of working for other Cognac producers, he learned the craft and founded A. Hardy & Company, the first bottle of Hardy Cognac was sold in 1863.
Bénédicte herself attended High School in Cognac finishing at the age of seventeen. She then went on to study in Bordeaux and graduated with two majors when she was 21. Intending to continue her education in law, Bénédicte applied and was accepted to Columbia University in New York. She chose, however, to attend the University in Geneva, Switzerland where the skiing conditions were much better than in New York. When Bénédicte graduated from Geneva with a degree in International Law (Maritime law or “law of the seas”), she could have begun practicing Law immediately. Instead she chose the wine and spirits industry and joined the family business in 1986. But Bénédicte has no regrets. She has been in charge of the U.S. and Canada for A.Hardy & Company. Along with her importer, Hardy USA, she has worked to build the Hardy brand stone by stone.
Bénédicte has a wonderful husband, Ludo, and two beautiful children, Pierre and Caroline. She hopes that one day her “little ones” will share her passion for Cognac. Bénédicte skis as much as she can, plays tennis, swims, and runs on a regular basis. She is also an avid reader and wine lover.