Last October, the MBA Luxury Brand Management Food & Wine students visited three large prestigious Maisons de Champagne: Laurent-Perrier, Pertois-Lebrun and Nicolas Feuillate.
Meeting at Maison Laurent Perrier with Anne-Laure Domenichini and Frédérique Chaise
The Champagne study tour started at Maison Laurent-Perrier with Anne-Laure Domenichini and Frédérique Chaise from the Communication & Public Relations Department. Preciousness and freshness describe this mythical champagne company, with the will of Bernard de Nonancourt to « produce a wine to enjoy ». Elegance, respect of nature as well as high quality over quantity are the main values of Maison Laurent Perrier. This worldwide known champagne producer has three wineries, with the capacity of 60 million bottles. The students tasted Laurent-Perrier’s Ultra Brut, launched in 1981. The second champagne they enjoyed is the famous Cuvée Rosé.
Encounter at Champagne Pertois-Lebrun with Antoine and Clément Bouret, a top-notch independent wine maker since 5 generations
The brothers Antoine and Clément, the fifth generation of this family, are collaborating with their aunt to produce champagne of great quality as a heritage of several generations and passion for their terroir of “La côte des Blancs”, the homeland of Chardonnay. Antoine and Clément introduced to the students their vision of the champagne, viticulture and to the secrets of the champenoise vinification methods. This presentation allowed students to get a deeper understanding of the production process and taught them the passion of being a wine grower in champagne believing in a unique creation and defined approach.
Guided tour to the Champagne cellar at Nicolas Feuillate and meeting with Trade Marketing Manager Thierry Kummel
Nicolas Feuillatte is the youngest firm among the three champagne producers that students visited. The Centre Viticole Champagne-Nicolas Feuillatte is now the first and biggest cooperatives’ association in champagne production in France and is ranked at the third position worldwide in terms of sales volume, after the renowned Moët & Chandon and Veuve Cliquot. The guided tour in the impressive Nicolas Feuillatte’s production facilities gave students a very different vision and knowledge about the champagne production. Also the meeting with the Trade Marketing Manager Thierry Kummel gave a clearer idea on the dynamic brand image of Nicolas Feuillatte: the main marketing strategy targets the “everyday Champagne consumers” in the mass-market, which means the people enjoying Champagne as a life habit rather than the private high-end sphere of users.
Students’ perceptions and impressions:
“(…) I was delighted by this oenological trip (…). This trip to Champagne has given us the opportunity to have an in-depth vision of the champagne world by seeing the different motivations, concerns and goals of three distinctive champagne structures – from a real Champagne House to a large growers’ association though an independent wine-grower winery.” Carine Arnaud (France)
“I was not very familiar with champagne before this study tour, and I was quite impressed to realize the importance of customer satisfaction for the three companies we visited. I have not really learnt to enjoy champagne before, and Laurent-Perrier really changed my mind about champagne with their Cuvée Rosé.” Javkhlantsetseg Erdenekhuu (Mongolia)
“We were taught all about the process of making champagne, from vineyard to bottle, and got the opportunity to meet the producers and taste their products. The whole experience was very rewarding.” Othmane Zouaoui (Morocco)
“This study tour was really interesting as it taught me the basics on how to champagne is produced. It was great to visit three very different structures and to see how passionate our guides were.” Tiphaine De Fleurian (France)
“It was my first and remarkable journey through the Champagne region. This study tour provided such a great opportunity to go behind ‘the velvet rope’. The analysis of more detailed champagne origins enables me to understand why champagne becomes a luxury product and makes me more fascinated with this noble product (…)” Sauwapa Sukhavachana (Thailand)
“I really want to thank all the houses of champagne because each one of them enabled me to learn more about the region, the steps of production and about champagne. Through to this trip, I could see the insides of the champagne’s universe and I am very interesting to learn more about it.” Lisa Moreau (France)
“I was really surprised by the owners’ insistence on home-made and the very original and traditional method of making champagne. It was a very delightful tasting experience.” Jing Qu (China)
“It is really amazing to realize the long lasting and complicated process and much effort put into producing Champagne. It covers knowledge from geography, to chemistry and also to the delicate sense of tasting. It blows my mind to acknowledge the different scale of producing Champagne, differing from what I thought to be.” Siying Yu (China)
“Pink clouds disappeared concerning the champagne dream while visiting three different types of champagne houses or wine-makers. However, I feel even more the professional calling from Champagne to work in this area of the wine industry.” Fanni Bujdos (Hungary)
“(…) After this clear insight into the production process of Champagne, I know now why champagne belongs inherently in a high-end universe and why it is also the most famous and exported wine in the world (…).” Morgane Broutot (France)
“In some ways, Chinese students are relatively unfamiliar with the champagne field. Indeed in China, champagne is not as popular as wine. Taking myself as an example, I had never tried champagne before this study tour. This time was really the perfect opportunity for me to get more knowledge and information about champagne, to enjoy the flavour of this drink, and also change my perspective on this field. I now think that champagne will be a good field to dedicate to in China.” Yahui Yu (China)
“The entire study tour has been very inspiring and rewarding. I was especially intrigued by the on-going innovations among the champagne producers such as the biodynamic method.” Viviane Xiaowen ZHU (China)
“I think that Champagne is a great and subtle French product which also has a strong history. I would like to thank the houses Laurent-Perrier, Pertois-Lebrun and Nicolas Feuillatte which gave us the opportunity to be immersed ourselves in the universe of Champagne, and which took time to explain us everything about Champagne.” Fanny Le Berre (France)
“This extraordinary Nicolas Feuillatte meeting really gave us more knowledge about champagne. No matter its varieties, fermentation, production line process, or even packaging, all of those brought us a different feeling about champagne. We prefer its fine packaging and perfect champagne flavour; it seems that all the things can become better. Nicolas Feuillatte let us know that the greatness of champagne is not only mixed from climate, grape varieties, or high-quality human work, but it is also combined with the modern techniques and the passion of Nicolas Feuillatte’s spirit in branding champagne.” Yujiao Zhang (China)
“Widely seen as the gold standard, Nicolas Feuillatte brand has successfully carved a wide market, and in so doing encourages us to consider champagne in a new light. Elegant, convivial, universal, authentic, creative, generous and unique are some of the many ways to describe Nicolas Feuillatte brand.” Liên Nguyen (Vietnam)