National Geographic Launches 2015 Photography Contest

National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2015 National Geographic Photography Contest. The grand-prize-winning image will be published in National Geographic magazine, and the winning photographer will receive $10,000 (USD) and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2016.

National Geographic logo.  (PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Society)

National Geographic logo. (PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Society)

Eligible contestants can visit natgeo.com/photocontest to submit photographs in one or all of three categories: People, Places and Nature. Entries will be submitted through National Geographic’s photography community, Your Shot, where members may comment on and “favorite” photos. The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant. Entries must be in digital format and must be submitted electronically. The contest ends Monday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m. EST (U.S.).

National Geographic uses photography to inspire, illuminate and teach our readers about our world and beyond,” said Sarah Leen, National Geographic Magazine’s Director Of Photography. “The National Geographic Photo Contest is an exciting opportunity for our photo community to participate in documenting the Earth, its creatures and its people. We look forward to seeing photographs that are passionate, skillful, surprising and beautiful. I’m very excited about seeing the entries we receive this year.

Judging consists of three rounds of evaluation based on creativity, photographic quality and genuineness/authenticity of the content. One first-place winner will be chosen from each category, and the winning photographs will be published on www.nationalgeographic.com. The overall grand-prize winner, announced in December 2015, will be chosen from the three category winners, and the grand-prize-winning photo will be published in National Geographic magazine.

How Was Your Force Friday?!

Well, it has begun. With Force Friday!, Disney/Lucasfilms has opened the merchandizing floodgate to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, collectibles, gadgets, and more from the upcoming, sure-to-be-a major blockbuster film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With merchandizing announcements from a wide range of partners, here is just an abbreviated list of all the marketing partners and their wares.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Kylo Ren Force Friday Poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Kylo Ren Force Friday Poster

(STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & (TM) Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Fun Lights-&-Sound Vehicle Models for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – New from Revell. Snap-Together Vehicles for Ages 6+ Also Feature Moving Parts from Wings to Landing Gear

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - Vehicle Models New from Revell.  Now available at Target.  (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – Vehicle Models New from Revell. Now available at Target. (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

What’s almost as much fun as watching the Empire and the Resistance duke it out in a galaxy far, far away? Building plastic models that let you simulate the action – and now kids can do precisely that with Revell‘s just-released vehicle assortment of snap-together, interactive model kits from the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie set to hit theaters December 18.

Each of the Revell SnapTite(R) Build & Play(TM) model kits has 15 to 20 pre-decorated parts with no need for glue, paint or tools, takes roughly 30 minutes to assemble, and can keep kids engaged for hours after the last piece is clicked into place. (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

Each of the Revell SnapTite(R) Build & Play(TM) model kits has 15 to 20 pre-decorated parts with no need for glue, paint or tools, takes roughly 30 minutes to assemble, and can keep kids engaged for hours after the last piece is clicked into place. (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

Revell's first four kits in the series deliver hyper-realistic replicas of the new movie's Millennium Falcon(TM), Poe's X-Wing Fighter(TM), Resistance X-Wing Fighter(TM) and First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter(TM) - complete with moving parts like retractable landing gear, open/close cockpit hatches, wings that open into attack mode, and even battle action lights and sounds. (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

Revell’s first four kits in the series deliver hyper-realistic replicas of the new movie’s Millennium Falcon(TM), Poe’s X-Wing Fighter(TM), Resistance X-Wing Fighter(TM) and First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter(TM) – complete with moving parts like retractable landing gear, open/close cockpit hatches, wings that open into attack mode, and even battle action lights and sounds. (PRNewsFoto/Revell Inc.)

Aimed at ages 6 and up, the first four kits in the series deliver hyper-realistic replicas of the new movie’s Millennium Falcon(TM), Poe’s X-Wing Fighter(TM), Resistance X-Wing Fighter(TM) and First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter(TM) – complete with moving parts like retractable landing gear, open/close cockpit hatches, wings that open into attack mode, and even battle action lights and sounds.

Each of the four SnapTite® Build & Play(TM) model kits has 15 to 20 pre-decorated parts with no need for glue, paint or tools, takes roughly 30 minutes to assemble, and can keep kids engaged for hours after the last piece is clicked into place. They are also the first to use Revell’s new DuraMod(TM) snap design, an innovation in the model market highlighted by extra durability, easy handling and assembly, a high level of detail, and interactivity not available in traditional models.

Five additional Star Wars SnapTite kits will be released in October for ages 8 and up. That will be followed in November with Revell’s introduction of The Master Series(TM) consisting of three classic Star Wars paint and glue kits from Fine Molds(TM) for serious Star Wars model enthusiasts. The Master Series(TM) Fine Molds line will include1:48 scale X-Wing(TM) fighter and Tie(TM) Fighter and 1:72 scale Millennium Falcon(TM) models with piece counts up to 900, providing the highest degree of detail of any model kit available.

All Revell Star Wars models for “The Force Awakens” are designed with the same computer data used to create the movie props, resulting in strikingly accurate facsimiles of the vehicles that moviegoers will experience on the big screen. All four kits are available at both Target and Toys R Us stores, at $19.99 each. Batteries are included.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Full Cast Poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Full Cast Poster

The Force is Strong with Kay® Jewelers as it Launches the Star Wars(TM) Collection

Kay® Jewelers will launch of the Star Wars(TM) collection. Available at Kay® Jewelers stores nationwide and online at Kay.com beginning Friday, September 4th, the Star Wars collection is being introduced as part of the popular Charmed Memories® collection, which features hand crafted charms that allow guests to celebrate special moments, interests and passions.

The Force is Strong with Kay(R) Jewelers as it Launches the Star Wars(TM) Collection. (PRNewsFoto/Kay Jewelers)

The Force is Strong with Kay(R) Jewelers as it Launches the Star Wars(TM) Collection. (PRNewsFoto/Kay Jewelers)

The collection features some of the most popular Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader, R2-D2 and the storm troopers, as well as iconic quotes and themes from the films on stylish charms that can be combined to create a unique bracelet or added to an existing one to reflect one’s fandom of the film series. While launching as part of Charmed Memories®, the Star Wars collection will be expanding into other fine jewelry categories at Kay® later this year.

Star Wars is one of the most beloved brands of all-time and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to the fine jewelry category,” said Stuart Lee, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Kay® Jewelers. “One of the most exciting things for us in launching this program was the unique challenge of offering a collection that the fans, who are so knowledgeable and passionate, will truly appreciate. We are confident that we did just that with this collection and we can’t wait to share all of the exciting news we will have as we expand the program moving forward.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Stormtroopers "Force Frida" Poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Stormtroopers “Force Frida” Poster

Walt Disney Records Announces Star Wars: The Force Awakens Original Motion Picture Soundtrack From Oscar®-winning Composer John Williams

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 4. SOUNDTRACK SET FOR RELEASE DECEMBER 18

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS logo (PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney Records)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS logo (PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney Records)

Five-time Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams has recorded the score for the original motion picture soundtrack Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The soundtrack is available now for pre-order at http://smarturl.it/swtfadme. Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.. The soundtrack will be available wherever music is sold on December 18, 2015. For more information on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, please visit http://www.theforceawakens.com.

Crystal Cruises Unveils Culinary Concept For ‘Crystal Esprit’

Crystal Yacht Cruises Culinary Concept Will Showcase Locally Sourced Ingredients and Casual Chic Atmosphere

Crystal Yacht Cruises, the upcoming luxury yachting experience from Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, is sparing no measure of luxury, including the culinary offerings on the new vessel. Crystal has unveiled the culinary concept for the 62-guest Crystal Esprit, which focuses heavily on quality local ingredients of the Seychelles Islands and Mediterranean coast, and showcases many of the favorite dishes served on the line’s acclaimed ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The yacht will set sail in December 2015 with an elegant and eclectic menu of globally inspired Michelin starred cuisine for its discerning guests, from extraordinary seafood cuisine on the al fresco terrace, to decadent pastries, snacks, espresso and wine in the quaint corner bar.

The outstanding food and wine experience has always been a highlight of the Crystal Experience and will continue to be an integral part of the onboard experience aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises,” says Crystal President& CEO Edie Rodriguez. “With public spaces and dining areas that are more intimate, our superior culinary team will maintain – and even exceed – the standard of world-class, creative cuisine that travelers expect from Crystal.”

Crystal Esprit will offer guests an array of culinary choices at any time of day or night, from small bites and midnight snacks, to casual lunches al fresco and chic, multi-course dinners. “Local” versions of favorite Crystal dishes will also be served, using the freshest ingredients available in each destination and reflecting the local flavors. The onboard eateries include:

The Yacht Club, Crystal Esprit (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The Yacht Club, Crystal Esprit (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The Yacht Club and its outdoor extension, the Patio Cafe restaurants will serve a selection of Crystal’s modern and classic specialties, with made-to-order omelets, waffles and pancakes  and a health bar with fresh fruit and vegetable juices for breakfast; lunch options including made-to-order pastas and risottos, seafood and meat antipasti, and a raw and salad bar, plus an a la carte menu offering local dishes; dinner menus include a Modern Tasting menu and a Classic menu including local inspired dishes using the freshest ingredients found at the local markets, all served in a bright and immaculate setting with expansive windows and sea breezes;

The Sunset Bar & Grill menu will feature burgers, wraps and locally inspired “global street food,” served tapas style and reflecting the destinations visited;

The Pantry will serve as the 24-hour “go-to” spot for freshly baked light snacks and pastries, coffee and a self-service wine bar;

Crystal Esprit Guest Suites also allow travelers to indulge in the plush privacy of their own staterooms, with available 24-hour stateroom dining.

Boasting Crystal’s acclaimed all-inclusive amenities, entertainment, fine dining and premium beverages, fares for Crystal Esprit voyages begin at $3,240 per person for a six-day round trip Mahe/Victoria sailing when booked by October 31, 2015. For complete details on all itineraries, fares, and information, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Steve Carell, Halle Berry and James Taylor to appear at USC Shoah Foundation’s Annual Ambassadors for Humanity Gala

Founder Steven Spielberg to Honor William Clay Ford Jr. with The 2015 Ambassador for Humanity Award

On Sept. 10, 2015, Steven Spielberg will present William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, with USC Shoah Foundation‘s highest honor — the Ambassador for Humanity Award — at the organization’s annual gala. Ford will be recognized for his leadership and corporate citizenry around education and community.

USC Shoah Foundation logo.  (PRNewsFoto/USC Shoah Foundation Institute)

USC Shoah Foundation logo. (PRNewsFoto/USC Shoah Foundation Institute)


Golden Globe-winning, Emmy and Academy Award nominated actor Steve Carell will serve as host, with Emmy and Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry joining the evening’s program as special guest. Grammy Award winner James Taylor will provide a special musical performance.

William Clay Ford, Jr. (Photo Credit: media.ford.com)

William Clay Ford, Jr. (Photo Credit: media.ford.com)

USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audiovisual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute’s current collection of over 53,000 eyewitness testimonies preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.
It is an honor to have the support of these three iconic artists, each role models in their own right, to help us pay tribute to Bill Ford,” said Spielberg, founder of the organization and chair of the annual gala. “Their participation will help bring attention to the Institute’s mission and our joint educational work in Detroit with Ford Motor Company.”

The gala will highlight the Institute’s partnership with Ford Motor Company to expand its IWitness educational platform in the metro Detroit area. Over the next two years IWitness Detroit will provide teacher education, programming for students, and key academic resources to enable students to engage with eyewitness testimony. A portion of the proceeds raised at the gala will support the program.

USC Shoah Foundation has had a long history in Michigan. The Ford Motor Company was the sole sponsor of the 1997 NBC broadcast of the Academy Award® winning “Schindler’s List,” the film that inspired the establishment of the Institute. The Institute’s Visual History Archive is also available at University of Michigan campuses of Ann Arbor and Flint. In addition, Mickey Shapiro, one of Michigan’s top real estate developers and longstanding member of the Institute’s Board of Councilors, is co-chairman of the 2015 Ambassadors for Humanity Gala.

For more information about the gala call the Event Office at 248-593-9743, the USC Shoah Foundation Benefit at 818-777-7876 or email ambassadorsgala2015@usc.edu. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.

Annenberg Space For Photography Presents LIFE: A Journey Through Time By Master Photographer Frans Lanting

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org) announced a photographic interpretation of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present by acclaimed National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. LIFE: A Journey Through Time is based on Lanting’s epic, multi-year project and features more than 70 images with texts and stories about the works, as well as an innovative timeline of life on our planet. Exclusive to the traveling exhibition’s presentation at the Annenberg Space for Photography are an original documentary short film and four short videos that explore the human connection to life around us. On view from October 24, 2015 to March 20, 2016, LIFE explores the story of our planet from its earliest beginnings to its present diversity, captured in images that evoke the complex wonder of nature through time.

We are delighted to bring the majestic work of Frans Lanting to the Annenberg Space for Photography,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Lanting’s photographic journey combines provocative storytelling with new scientific insights. His seemingly omnipotent ability to look at situations in the natural world provides us with, to quote Lanting, ‘a window into its past.'”

For The LIFE Project, Lanting set off on a journey of photographic discovery that led him to remote 150112_10150815412425892_1223529129_nlocations such as Western Australia’s Shark Bay and Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to capture primordial landscapes—and into unique museum collections to explore fossils and microscopic life. The result is a celebration of planet Earth that aims to educate and inspire through images and stories of the incredible biodiversity that surrounds us.

Organized in sections, the exhibition begins with “Elements,” to interpret Earth’s early history and show interactions among the five classical elements: earth, air, fire, water and space; “Beginnings” traces life from single-celled origins into more complex forms in the sea; “Out of the Sea” evokes the time when life first ventured ashore; “On Land” covers the period when plants and animals colonized solid ground; “Into the Air” highlights the evolutionary innovations of birds and flowering plants, ending with the cataclysmic events that caused the demise of the dinosaurs; “Out of the Dark” portrays the rise of mammals; and the concluding chapter, “Planet of Life,” envisions the collective force of life as a sixth element shaping our planet. An outdoor component of the exhibition, “Future of Life,” portrays present-day challenges to global biodiversity caused by the impact of humans on the planet in an era many scientists now call the Anthropocene.

The simple idea of looking for the past in the present grew into a challenging photographic undertaking that extended over several years and continues to influence my work today,” said Lanting. “My mission was to create images of nature—from volcanoes to tree frogs—that could evoke a sense of time and origins. I wanted to apply both new scientific ideas to my subjects and new photographic concepts to my images. My approach has been that of a storyteller who draws on characters for the sake of telling a larger tale.”

An original documentary film commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by award-winning director Steven Kochones and Arclight Productions takes viewers on a journey through time via the remarkable images and story of Lanting’s LIFE Project, while recounting Lanting’s own evolution from wildlife photographer to visual chronicler of life on Earth. The film will include interviews with Lanting in his Santa Cruz studio; natural history writer, editor, videographer and longtime Lanting partner and collaborator Christine Eckstrom; horseshoe crab expert Dr. Carl Shuster; Harvard University evolutionary biologist Dr. Andrew Knoll; National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist; Ecological Research & Development Group President Glenn Gauvry; Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) geologist Dr. Abigail Allwood; JPL Mars Program Office Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Zurek; pioneering sociobiologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson; UC Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Sciences Director Dr. Gary Griggs; and renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Russell Mittermeier.

For the first time, the Annenberg Space for Photography Skylight Studios will be partnering with explore.org to offer programming to complement the LIFE exhibit. Utilizing content and live camera footage from explore.org, Skylight Studios will offer an immersive environment that celebrates species in the sea, on land and in the air. Skylight Studios will also continue to host the popular Iris Nights lecture series with exhibit-related speakers. The full schedule of events will be announced at a later date. The Annenberg Foundation provides bus funding to Title 1 schools, allowing educators to bring students to the Photography Space, free of charge, to experience LIFE‘s wondrous presentation of natural history. The exhibition-related book LIFE: A Journey Through Time will be available for purchase at the Annenberg Space for Photography and at Skylight Studios.

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org)

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org)

The Annenberg Space for Photography is a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting photography. The intimate environment features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by both world-renowned and emerging photographers. It is the first solely photographic cultural destination in the Los Angeles area. The Photography Space conveys a range of human experiences and serves as an expression of the philanthropic work of the Annenberg Foundation and its directors.


Hours: Wednesday through Sunday: 11 am–6 pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission is free.
Parking with validation is $3.50 Wednesdays–Fridays and $1.00 on weekends.

Facebook.com/annenbergspaceforphotography
Twitter.com/annenbergspace
Instagram.com/annenbergspace
Youtube.com/annenbergspace

Schramsberg Vineyards Celebrate Golden Jubilee with Anniversary Wine Dinner Series

Consumers Wine and Dine with Schramsberg Vineyards to Commemorate 50 years of Food and Wine

In celebration of 50 years of producing world-class sparkling wines, this coming fall Schramsberg Vineyards will draw on its history in promoting an American food and wine culture by hosting a nationwide series of winemaker dinners. Schramsberg has long created educational opportunities on the topic, including the bi-annual Camp Schramsberg program, hosting food and wine events at its property and developing winemaker dinners at top restaurants nationwide; it will use this special moment in its history to build on this tradition.

The dinners will occur in eight cities across the country, serving to educate consumers about the wines produced by Schramsberg and demonstrating how well sparkling wines pair with food. Eight dinners will be held during October and November 2015 in the following cities:
Houston, TX:
October 8 | Table on Post Oak
Boulder, CO:
October 13 | Flagstaff House
Pasadena, CA:
October 15 | Langham Hotel
New York, NY:
October 27 | Chef’s Club
Seattle, WA:
November 4
| Loulay
Chicago, IL:
November 12 | RPM Steak
San Francisco, CA:
November 20 | coming soon
Bonita Springs, FL:
December 3 | Angelina’s Ristorante

We are very excited to find that more and more restaurateurs, sommeliers and consumers are really starting to understand how delicious and food-friendly sparkling wines are,” says Hugh Davies, Schramsberg‘s second-generation vintner. “With this tour, we have the chance to develop a series of extraordinary dinners with outstanding chefs, to create dining experiences that will be remembered for years to come.

Schramsberg Vineyards 50th Anniversary (PRNewsFoto/Schramsberg Vineyards)

Schramsberg Vineyards 50th Anniversary (PRNewsFoto/Schramsberg Vineyards)

 

Located in Calistoga, California, Schramsberg Vineyards is dedicated to producing handcrafted wines using the “methode traditionnelle” technique. Wines produced by the winery include the signature Reserve, J. Schram and J. Schram Rose; the vintage-dated Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose and Cremant Demi-sec; and the multi-vintage Mirabelle Brut and Brut Rose.

Hugh Davies’ parents, Jack and Jamie, revived one of Napa’s most historic wineries back in 1965 to establish Schramsberg Vineyards as the nation’s first craft sparkling wine house. Dedicated to maintaining the property’s historical and natural integrity, the family has preserved and restored the century-old buildings and caves on the property, as well as taken rigorous steps to be certified as a Napa Green Winery on Napa Green Land. At the same time, the Davies have achieved something unique: quality sparkling wine evocative of California’s terroir. By sourcing grapes from a deep range of North Coast cool-climate sites, Schramsberg has come to be known as California’s premier producer of sparkling wine.
Schramsberg first came to the nation’s attention at President Nixon’s 1972 summit with China, when the 1969 Blanc de Blancs was poured for the “Toast to Peace.” The wines have continued to be served at presidential dinners while winning many awards, including the James Beard Award in 1996. Schramsberg has maintained its dedication to preserving its attachment to local land, culture and history, while remaining a family operation.

At the time of Hugh’s father’s death in 1998, the family established the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund “to preserve, protect and promote agricultural land in the Napa Valley,” continuing to put into practice words passed on from his father: “This place was created long before any of us were here, and our job is to ensure that it will last long after we’re gone.

For further information about attending the winemaker dinners, please contact Jennifer Brown – office 707.967.1827| cell 707.478.5152|jbrown@wilsondaniels.com.

Martell Cognac Celebrates 300 Years Of Craftsmanship With Employees And Winegrowers In Cognac

11222795_10154132886859418_5005056087107955936_n2015 marks the 300th anniversary of Martell, the oldest of the great Cognac Houses. Martell’s heritage dates back to the 18th Century, when Jean Martell, a native of Jersey founded the company in 1715. Since then, Martell has produced, exported and marketed cognacs whose quality is recognized worldwide. The hallmark of the house of Martell can be summarized in three key terms: Elegance, Complexity and Balance. Martell Cognac was founded at the height of the French Art de Vivre movement; a period of time in which gastronomy, tasting and craftsmanship were all celebrated and enjoyed with style. As such, these became the three pillars of the Martell House and are the three core areas which still remain intrinsic to its vision today.

For the exclusive guests, the party at Versailles started in the glasses to finish on the walls.

For the exclusive guests, the party at Versailles started in the glasses to finish on the walls.

Martell Cognac is celebrating its 300th anniversary with an agenda of exceptional events, from a spectacular party at the Château de Versailles (held this past May) to local celebrations. This anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Martell’s employees and winegrower partners, gathering more than 3 200 guests at the Château de Chanteloup, the birthplace of the House, which has been refurbished in time for the event.

Martell - Tricentenaire Chanteloup 300: The Château de Chanteloup, the birthplace of the House, which has been refurbished in time for the event

Martell – Tricentenaire Chanteloup 300: The Château de Chanteloup, the birthplace of the House, which has been refurbished in time for the event

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at the Château de Chanteloup: César Giron and Alexandre Ricard

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at the Château de Chanteloup: César Giron and Alexandre Ricard

Martell_5_-_Tricentenaire_Chanteloup_parachutiste

French parachutists – carrying some flags marked with Martell colours, joined the guests and presented César Giron & Alexandre Ricard with bottles of the limited edition cognac given to guests as a gift

The entertainment the the Château de Chanteloup local celebration of Martell's 300th Anniversary

The entertainment the the Château de Chanteloup local celebration of Martell’s 300th Anniversary

Over 2,500 winegrowers, distillers and other partners from the Cognac region received their invitations from Martell employees, who delivered them personally to mark their special relationship. For a month ahead of the event, they criss-crossed the Charente countryside in Martell branded trucks to hand-deliver the invitations to partners.

his anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Martell’s employees and winegrower partners, gathering more than 3 200 guests at the Château de Chanteloup

his anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Martell’s employees and winegrower partners, gathering more than 3 200 guests at the Château de Chanteloup

This is a very special year for Martell, which is celebrating three centuries of cognac-making and close bonds with the people of Cognac. We wanted to invite all the local partners with whom we have nurtured a truly remarkable partnership for nearly ten generations, and I sincerely hope that this special relationship will continue for many generations to come,” said César Giron, Chairman and CEO of Martell House.

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at the Château de Chanteloup: Pierre Joncourt, Alexandre Ricard and César Giron, Chairman and CEO of Martell House

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at the Château de Chanteloup: Pierre Joncourt, Alexandre Ricard and César Giron, Chairman and CEO of Martell House

Guests were treated to a spectacular surprise at the start of the evening when two fighter jets roared across the Cognac sky, followed by three planes from the “Cartouche Doré”, a squadron of seasoned flight instructors from the French air force flight academy in Cognac.

In 1936, Paul Firino-Martell, the mayor of Cognac, donated a château to the French Air Force to be used as the seat of a charitable foundation. Shortly thereafter he initiated the construction of an air base in Cognac, donating land near the village of Châteaubernard, establishing the foundations of two pioneers of French expertise and excellence, the Martell House and what became a showpiece of French Air Force’s prowess.

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - MAY 20: A general view of the aerial display and fly past by the Patrouille de France in the gardens of the historic Chateau de Versailles on May 20, 2015 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Martell Cognac)

VERSAILLES, FRANCE – MAY 20: A general view of the aerial display and fly past by the Patrouille de France in the gardens of the historic Chateau de Versailles on May 20, 2015 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Martell Cognac)

French Air Force Training Base 709 in Cognac is home to the Air Force Pilot Academy (EPPA), and is where future fighter and transport pilots learn to fly. The pilots of the Cartouche Doré Aerobatics Team are all instructors at this French Air Force academy. They fly in trios at the controls of the TB30 Epsilon aircraft, demonstrating the skills of fighter pilots with panache, brilliantly combining exacting professionalism and technical performance.

The squadron is considered the “little brother” of the famed Patrouille De France Aerobatics Team, which put on a demonstration for guests during the 20 May event in Versailles. Two Cap Ten aerobatic planes then wrote out the number “300” in white smoke before dropping three parachutists – carrying some flags marked with Martell colours – who joined the guests and presented César Giron & Alexandre Ricard with bottles of the limited edition cognac given to guests as a gift.

This exceptional 40-minute airshow –a tribute to a shared history anchored in savoir-faire, excellence and passion – was crowned by a stunning fireworks display to set the stage for a grandiose evening in an amazing setting.11751770_10154113837259418_1555992049527545017_n

In an enchanting decor reminiscent of the Versailles Tricentenaire celebration, guests had the chance to enjoy three cocktails created specifically for their Tricentenaire to pay tribute to the key founders of Martell by Thierry Hernandez (head barman at the famous Plaza Athenée). They are: The Adventurer (A tribute to Jean Martell), which combines Martell Noblige with peach cream, black grape juice and champagne*; The Audacious (A tribute to Rachel Lallemand Martell), which includes Martell VS, blackberry liqueur, lime juice, and champagne*; The Independent (A tribute to Frederic Martell, their son), combining Martell Cognac VSOP with Lillet white wine, red fruit juice, cedar extract and champagne*.

*Perrier Jouët Grand Brut or Mumm Cordon Rouge

The 3,200 guests also shared a custom-crafted culinary experience developed in collaboration with the Château de Chanteloup’s chefs Eric Danger and Pascal Nebout. The menu featured delectable gastronomical specialties from the region with an emphasis on local seasonal products, as well as contemporary takes on recipes dating from 1715.

French singer-songwriter Louis Bertignac (a founding member of the group Telephone) and friend of the House

French singer-songwriter Louis Bertignac (a founding member of the group Telephone) and friend of the House

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at Château de Chanteloup, the birthplace of the House.

Martell Cognac Tricentenaire at Château de Chanteloup, the birthplace of the House.

After being warmly thanked for their contribution to Martell, they danced late into the night. The concert was punctuated by the unexpected arrival of French singer-songwriter Louis Bertignac (a founding member of the group Telephone), a friend of the House who couldn’t resist a chance to play several of his hits.

Because the Tricentenaire of Martell is above all an opportunity to celebrate 300 years of craftsmanship and excellence, each guest received an exclusive limited edition cognac, a blend of fifteen eaux-de-vie from the five main crus, spanning the last three centuries.

Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil

Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil

The blending of these 15 eaux-de-vie, which then completed their ageing in barrels made from 300-year-old oak, spotlights our savoir-faire, our commitment, and our attachment to a House that has let us continue a fabulous story that began in 1715.” notes Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil.