Crowning of a bottle of Louis XIII at Skye Avenue Kitchen & Bar

Indo-Canadian businessman and owner of Skye Avenue Garry Sangha raises a toast with his guests

The super exclusive event was attended by the top 1%

In a first for British Columbia, a bottle of Louis XIII cognac was crowned at Skye Avenue Kitchen & Lounge in an event open to only the top 1%

In a first of its kind event for British Columbia, Surrey’s premier fine dining restaurant, celebrated the crowning of a 3-litre bottle of Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac Grande Champagne on Friday, 16th of February 2024. The event, promoted by the restaurant on social media as “For the 1% only”, was attended by several prominent residents of Surrey, BC. Chen-Wei Lee, Canadian Private Client Director – LOUIS XIII and Brett Parker, Regional Marketing Manager – BC, RÉMY COINTREAU – Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits led the celebration of one of the most precious of eaux-de-vie available.

Made using grapes grown in the premier cru of the Cognac region in Grande Champagne, France, the legendary Louis XIII is widely considered to be an extraordinary cognac, one that is slowly aged in old Limousin tiercons, in which they gradually acquire their unique, multi layered taste, one that is said to linger “like the sweet memory of a rendezvous with someone memorable” as one guest present at the event remarked.

The history of Louis XIII is as fascinating and colourful as its taste. While Remy Martin had been crafting cognac since 1724, the brand Louis XIII was created a full 150 years later, when in 1874, Paul-Emile Remy Martin, decided to rebel against established norms and sell his finest 100% Grande Champagne cognac by the bottle instead of casks. However, the finest cognac in the world could not be sold in any bottle. The king of cognacs deserved a crown, and so it was provided one.

In the year 1850 Martin had come across this strange but beautiful metal flask, one that transfixed his gaze. The flask of course had historic value, having been originally recovered from the site of the battle of Jarnac almost three centuries ago. But what set it apart was the way spikes on both sides framed the flask, almost reminiscent of a crown. Martin bought the flask and in an act of outstanding foresight, registered the rights for its reproduction.

Twenty-Four years later, that flask would prove to be the inspiration behind Martin’s own design for Louis XIII’s universally recognized and iconic decanter. Today, each decanter is hand crafted by the top crystal manufacturers like Baccarat, Saint-Louis, and Cristallerie de Sèvres. While each decanter comes with 20-carat gold neck and 10 distinctive spikes on each side, since each bottle is handmade, no two are the same and each is assigned a serial number.

Given the rarity and exclusivity of an event like this, the executive chef at Skye Avenue Kitchen and Lounge, Chef Valerio Pescetelli crafted an exquisite menu especially for the celebration, and specific wines were paired to go with each course. The celebration, which was a grand success, was also a celebration of Skye Avenue, a rather unique fine dining restaurant in Surrey and it’s owner, Garry Sangha. Sangha’s love for whisky has left a deep mark on how the restaurant identifies as- not your average fine dining place, but rather an exclusive whisky bar and lounge. Skye Avenue boats of arguably the largest collection of whisky available for public consumption anywhere in the world, a large part of which was donated by Sangha himself from his own private collection.

Skye Avenue is Sangha’s latest business venture. he has previously found success in construction and real estate. He is the CEO of the CCI Group of companies, a construction conglomerate that includes Kanin Construction Management. He also has invested in multiple luxury condo development projects in Surrey, BC. A long-term, loyal resident of Surrey, BC, Sangha always had this complaint that despite being the fastest growing urban area in British Columbia, Surrey was dependent on Vancouver when it came to offering it’s residents quality dining options. Skye Avenue is Sangha’s attempt to fix this anomaly. Now, having hosted such an exclusive event at his restaurant, Sangha hopes that Surrey will attract more high end dining options in the future.

A prominent figure like Sangha’s doubling down on the Whalley area in Surrey assumes significance since it boosts the city’s efforts to rebrand what was once dubbed an “unsavoury” place into a modern and hip downtown. While problems like petty crime, addiction and homelessness remain, they have visibly reduced as condo towers and commercial spaces keep getting built. Major developers like Concorde Pacific have multiple condo towers either operational or under construction in and around the area. Sangha’s own real estate development venture, The Grand on King George is nearing completion at a stone’s throw from his restaurant, while pre-sale continues on his second, Sky Living, which will be near King George Skytrain station. Overall, Sangha and his company are planning three major luxury projects totaling close to 1700 homes, all in and around the area.

Arnab Banerjee
Allure Ventures
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