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1869-1878

Pleasure Wine: 1869-1878 Chartreuses

 

The Chartreuse of 1869-1878 (Fourvoirie)

 

Irritated by the counterfeiting impacting the monastery's finances, the Carthusian Fathers decided to counterattack, in 1869. That year, they completely revamped the design of their bottles, hoping to throw a wrench in their competitors' plans. The globe surmounted by a cross and surrounded by 7 stars, as well as the "Gde Chartreuse" mention were now all embossed. The emblem is a reminder of the order's motto "Stat Crux Dum Volvitur Orbis", which means "The Cross is steady while the world turns". The seven stars are meant to represent Saint-Bruno and his companions (the actual founders of the Carthusian order, in the 11th century).

The neck of the bottle, which used to be straight, was now much more swollen. This actually became the trademark of the Chartreuse brand. The monks also added a new legal mention that they forgot to put on the label: "Lith. Allier Grenoble" (Allier had been the Carthusians' official printer since 1853). In addition, Dom Louis Garnier registered the new version of the label on July 1, 1869. Hence the inscription "Déposé 1-07-69" on the bottles. Let's also note that the label itself was now watermarked, in order to make it harder to copy.

All these steps were taken to hinder the Chartreuse's numerous lookalikes. And it worked! In six years, only five lawsuits were filed. In 1871, Dom Louis Garnier was 67 years old and the man who basically created the Chartreuse as we know it today couldn't perform his duties as a brand manager and marketer anymore. He gave this heavy responsibility to Dom Marcel-Marie (formerly Alfred Grézier), who took his place that same year. As for all the legal aspect of the liqueur business, it was Paul Brézun, a friend of the monks, who was now in charge of it. From 1871 to 1890, he scoured the entire globe, defending the Carthusians' brand, one trial at the time.

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