LVMH appoints Berta de Pablos-Barbier and new CEO for Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier

French luxury group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) has appointed Berta de Pablos-Barbier as its CEO for its Champagne houses Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier.

With current CEO Stephane Baschiera stepping down in the New Year, his place will be taken by Berta de Pablos-Barbier, currently an executive at Mars Wrigley.

Pablos-Barbier will take on her new role on January 1st, with Baschiera staying on until the end of that month to aid the handover.

Baschiera has spent 24 years at Moët Hennessy, the last eight as head of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier. Pablos-Barbier meanwhile has degrees in agricultural engineering and food sciences from the University of Valencia and the IFM’s executive MBA in Global Fashion Management. She is currently chief growth officer at Mars having previously held senior positions at Boucheron and Lacoste.

Philippe Schaus, chief executive and CEO of Moët Hennessy said: “I am delighted to welcome Berta de Pablos-Barbier to the management of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier. Thanks to her initial training in agronomy, Berta will be able to understand the field of viticulture and winemaking.

“Alongside Stéphane Baschiera, she will devote the whole month of January to this integration in order to ensure perfect continuity in the management of our three houses. I am convinced that, with the support of her teams, she will play a decisive role in the development of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier.”

The group’s other Champagne houses, Krug, Ruinart and Veuve Clicquot, all have their own CEOs, with Pablos-Barbier now the second female CEO alongside Krug’s Maggie Henríquez.

Perrier-Jouët launches eco-friendly gift box for the holiday season

After two years in development, Champagne house Perrier-Jouët just launched a new range of fully recyclable, eco-friendly gift boxes in perfect timing for the festive period.

The boxes will now be used to house its classic, non-vintage Champagnes, including Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé and Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs.

The project follows two years of research and development in order to deliver packaging that merges “a minimalist aesthetic with a focus on sustainability”.

The white boxes are made from natural fibre, sourced from certified sustainable forests in northern Europe, and are embossed with water-based ink, which is free from mineral oils.

The eco gift box collection is available globally through various retailers, including, in the UK, through Fortnum & Mason (RRP: £47.50).

Perrier-Jouët is aiming to make its entire gifting offer fully sustainable by 2022. It has already introduced recyclable shipping cases that are made from grass paper.

Séverine Frerson, cellar master at Maison Perrier-Jouët, said: “For more than two centuries, Maison Perrier-Jouët has maintained a symbiotic relationship with nature which we are incredibly proud of.

“Our founders, Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët, were renowned for their keen interest in botany and for their progressive ideas on natural viticulture. Today, nature remains at the very heart of the House, and has provided the inspiration for this exquisite gift-box collection.”

Moët & Chandon launches ‘Specially Yours’ personalized Christmas gift boxes

The gift boxes will be exclusively available in Selfridges, London in-store and online, priced at £49.99 for the Impérial and £58.99 for the Rosé Impérial.

The packaging can be personalized with a name or a message using up to fourteen characters. Gift boxes can be ordered by taking a bottle to a Selfridges personalization station in-store or selecting the relevant option online.

The gift box unveiling coincides with the launch of Moët & Chandon’s ‘London Calling’ campaign at the high-end department store. This will feature a Champagne bar and “concept space” featuring photographs of famous moments of celebration in London’s history.

The concept space is inspired by the design of the classic red telephone box, with space for guests to sip Champagne at a bar alongside the photographic exhibition.

Customers can choose from a range of Moët cuvées as well as Champagne cocktails, created in partnership with London bars Mr Fogg’s, Heads & Tails, Coupette and Disrepute.

A calendar of cocktail masterclasses will be held from 6 October to 25 November at Selfridges, co-hosted by Moët & Chandon’s Champagne Ambassador. These can be booked in advance https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/selfridges-oxford-street-london-6395244523

 

THE CHAMPAGNE 2020 HARVEST REPORT “SPLENDIDE!”

2020 completes an exceptional trilogy for the harvest: as in 2018 and 2019, the weather conditions have offered a very high-quality harvest, which is one of the requirements to make a great wine. The beginning of the year was particularly wet with the dampest February on record. Heat and drought set in mid-March and the vines were 16 days ahead on a 10-year average; it will not lose this edge, even registering an exceptionally fast maturation process the week before the harvesting.

While last year’s temperature record was broken (42.9°C), this year it was the driest July in history. Due to the drought, the grapes are of a lighter weight than average but in excellent sanitary condition. The musts are well balanced, fruity, with a beautiful freshness and a great aromatic expression; the alcoholic degree lies between 10 and 10.5% vol.

The year 2020 is, of course, characterized by the health safety measures linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, which had to be put in place for the 120.000 seasonal workers recruited in vineyards or pressing centres.

Given the maximum yield limited to 8,000 kg/ha, the harvest was carried out, individually, a little faster than usual but spread over a normal period of about three weeks, given the heterogeneity of maturation between vintages and grape varieties. The tasting of berries and seeds and the analysis of the sugar content present in the grapes allow each winemaker to adapt the beginning of his harvest and optimize his grape picking circuit, plot by plot, at optimum maturity.

With the superb trilogy 2018, 2019, 2020, Champagne should have in a few years blends and, probably, exceptional vintages, all living up to the celebrations of the event that the whole world is waiting for: the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

French Version

′′2020 complète en effet une trilogie exceptionnelle : comme en 2018 et en 2019, les conditions météorologiques ont offert une récolte de très grande qualité, première des conditions pour élaborer un grand vin. Le début de l’année a été particulièrement arrosé avec le mois de février le plus humide jamais enregistré. Chaleur et sécheresse s’installent dès la mi-mars et la vigne débourre avec 16 jours d’avance sur la moyenne décennale ; elle ne perdra plus cette avance, enregistrant même une dynamique de maturation exceptionnellement rapide la semaine précédant le ban des vendanges.

Alors que l’an passé, le record de température avait été battu (42,9°C), cette année, c’est le mois de juillet le plus sec de l’histoire qui a été enregistré. En raison de la sécheresse, les grappes sont d’un poids inférieur à la moyenne mais dans un excellent état sanitaire. Les moûts sont équilibrés, fruités, présentent une belle fraîcheur et une grande expression aromatique ; le degré alcoolique se situe entre 10 et 10,5% vol.

L’année 2020 se singularise bien sûr par les mesures de sécurité sanitaires liées à l’épidémie de Covid-19 qui ont dû être mises en place pour les quelque 120 000 saisonniers recrutés dans les vignes ou les centres de pressurage.

Compte tenu du rendement maximum limité à 8 000 kg/ha, la récolte a été effectuée, à titre individuel, un peu plus rapidement que d’habitude mais s’est étalée sur une durée normale d’environ trois semaines, compte tenu de l’hétérogénéité de maturation entre crus et entre cépages. La dégustation de baies et de pépins et l’analyse du taux de sucre présent dans les raisins permettent à chaque vigneron d’adapter le début de sa vendange et d’optimiser son circuit de cueillette du raisin, parcelle par parcelle, à maturité optimale.

Avec la superbe trilogie 2018, 2019, 2020, la Champagne devrait disposer dans quelques années d’assemblages et, probablement, de millésimes exceptionnels, à la hauteur des célébrations de l’événement que le monde entier attend : la fin de la pandémie Covid-19 ′′.

Source : Comité Champagne

Reims Tourism Office offers free Champagne to promote tourism

Attracting tourists post-Covid is undoubtedly a challenge. The Greater Reims Council has launched a new initiative called “Champagne, to make your summer awesome!” Visitors to the city will be treated to a bottle of grower Champagne. The greeting has an undeniably elegant touch, though there are some strings attached.

 

A total of 3,000 bottles, sourced from 68 different producers, will be given (one/adult) to those who qualify. The giveaway is said to have cost €50,000.

 

This initiative was launched July 15 and is subject to certain criteria. To qualify, tourists must spend at least two consecutive nights in the City of Reims, or the surrounding area, and stay in a hotel, guesthouse or gîte. Airbnb does not qualify. Also, during their trip, visitors must eat in a local restaurant and order at least one dish and drink. Fast food outlets are excluded from the list. Finally, in order to qualify, tourists must provide proof that they have paid for one leisure activity, such as renting a kayak, a winery visit, bike hire, or cinema ticket. Once they have paid for these holiday treats, visitors are required to go to the Reims tourist information office to receive their complimentary bottle.

This follows news of poor sales of Champagne during the Covid-19 pandemic. Industry body Comité Champagne said that sales were down 32% for the period January to May compared to the same period in 2019.