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Thomas Hine arrived in Charente in 1791, only sixteen years old, to learn the French language. It was the time of the French Revolution and he too did not escape imprisonment, like almost all Englishmen in France. He was suspected of being a British spy, but luckily he was released after just a few months. In these first years, he worked as a personal assistant for a cognac merchant. He fell in love with Françoise Elisabeth Delamain and married her in 1796. Soon after he became a partner in the company of his father-in-law, Ranson & Delamain.

The quality of cognacs was always a concern to Thomas Hine, who only wanted the best wines and Eaux-de-vie from his suppliers. He used to say: “Produce little, but make it perfect”. This maxim worked very well for him. When he died of pneumonia in 1822, only 47 years of age, he already was the second largest tax-payer in the district and the name Hine was known in the world for its quality.

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