NOSING OUT THE FINEST PEELS FROM THE WORLD’S PREMIER ORANGE-PRODUCING REGIONS
Cointreau? Essentially, it’s the story of orange peels:
First mentioned in the writings of the Chinese sage Confucius (551-479 BCE), oranges traveled to Europe via the Silk and Spice Roads, a fragrant treasure transported in merchant caravans.
Oranges now grow all over the globe.
Carole Quinton, Master Distiller and “nose” of Cointreau, plies the planet each year, seeking out the finest terroirs and the most aromatic fruits.
Cointreau’s orange quest takes Carole to Brazil, Tunisia, Ghana, Morocco and Spain.
Bitter or sweet, an orange’s aromatic profile is shaped by its lineage and birthplace: variety, culture, soil, climate, weather – all play a role.
Selecting peels, refining the balance of bitter and sweet: that is the exacting task at the heart of Cointreau.
Don’t call it a recipe. Creating the blend is an authentic know-how, acquired through long family expertise and repeated year after year.
Cointreau develops sustainable practices among its suppliers through a number of initiatives. The long-term goal? That all the oranges selected by Cointreau be sustainably sourced. Master Distiller Carole Quinton pilots the “Orange and Terroir” project, driven by her personal commitment to sustainable development.
At the distillery in Angers, 97 % of raw-material waste is recycled. After distillation, for instance, peels go to compost and leftover D-Limonene is redirected to cosmetic industry. Efforts to decrease water consumption have also borne fruit: in five years, the water used to produce a liter of Cointreau has been reduced by 20%.
Cointreau partners with the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) in Corsica, an internationally recognized center that is home to a vast citrus conservatory.
The team analyzes different factors
– orange varietals, DNA, interactions with soils
– to learn how they influence the fruit’s aromatic expression.
Pinpointing those variables helps Maison Cointreau further refine its selection of terroirs and ensure the liqueur’s unique aromatic profile.