Each year, students from MBA Luxury Brand Management Food & Wine apply their acquire knowledge through study tours in Champagne region.
The objective of the study tour was mainly to:
- learn the specific soil structure of the geographical location needed for the production of champagne,
- witness specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from specific plots in the Champagne appellation and specific pressing methods unique to the region,
- master the champagne making process (distinguishing for example, the differences between wine and champagne making methods),
- discover the different Maisons de Champagnes in order to obtain deep understanding of their business and management organization (to be able for instance to compare their values, production techniques and capacities), and to combine theory and practice during tasting sessions.
The 2015 class had the opportunity to explore 4 famous Maisons de Champagne: Thienot, Deutz, Bollinger and Petrois Lebrun.
The first introduction into the world of champagne started at Thienot where students were welcomed by Stanislas Thienot, the Founder’s son, for a visit of the cellar and a tasting session of the best “cuvées”.
The prelude to this journey dedicated to flavor and fragance continued with the tasting of three vintages of Cuvée William Deutz, learning what makes Deutz Champagne typical as well as the vinification methods with the oenologist of this famous Champagne brand.
Students had also the opportunity to visit two others famous Maisons: Bollinger and Petrois Lebrun where they learnt amongst other things , about the traditional “méthode Champenoise”, how champagne has to mature for at least 3 years to be considered “vintage” and how the bottle is manipulated either manually or mechanically etc.
By grasping all these aspects (the modern and traditional techniques methods, the product making process, the growing of the vines etc.), students realized furthermore during this study tour how labor, patience and finance matters are necessary in order to maintain a long lasting business cycle in the Champagne sector as well as the new challenges this leading industry might also encounter.