The Bollinger Family to Acquire Oregon’s Famed Ponzi Vineyards

The Bollinger family, owners of iconic Champagne Bollinger in addition to four other historic estates in France, announce the upcoming acquisition of their first winery in the United States, with the purchase of Oregon’s famed Ponzi Vineyards. The transaction will unite the Bollinger family with the Ponzi family, building on the legacy the Ponzis have established as one of Oregon’s original wineries, leading the success and growth of the region’s Pinot Noir over the last 50 years.

Bollinger family holding group Chairman & CEO Etienne Bizot comments, “The United States is such an important market for luxury Champagne, Burgundy, Sancerre, Cognac, and other regions in which our family owns wineries. If there was anywhere outside of France where we felt it was critical to invest, it is in the U.S. We have quietly considered opportunities for a number of years, but it is finally with the Ponzi family that we feel we have found the ideal fit. Their bold vision to come to Oregon, the subsequent decades of recognition for continually innovating and improving – we have so much respect for what the Ponzis have achieved, and look forward to building on it together, and connecting all our brands more closely with the U.S. market.”

“We have dedicated our lives to demonstrating Oregon’s Willamette Valley as one of the greatest places on the planet for producing cool climate, high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” remarks Luisa Ponzi, the winery’s recognized leading winemaker who trained in Burgundy. “This transaction makes sense for our respective families because of our well-aligned values and shared commitment to producing wines of the very highest quality.”

“It gives us immense satisfaction to have the opportunity to pass our legacy winery on to the Bollinger family, who will continue to elevate the brand on a global scale,” Winery president Anna Maria Ponzi shares. “This is the natural next step for our brand and winery.”

The purchase includes the winery and hospitality facilities 40 minutes from Portland, Oregon in addition to 35 acres of vineyard land in the newly established Laurelwood District AVA. The winery has been an introduction to the region for countless numbers of people through not only visits but major events that the Ponzi family has been instrumental in creating and supporting, such as the International Pinot Noir Celebration, Oregon Pinot Camp and the Salud Pinot Noir Barrel Auction.

Under the leadership of a new CEO, whose recruitment is ongoing, Anna Maria will continue to lead the sales & marketing over the transition period and Luisa will remain as the Director of Viticulture and Winemaking. The Ponzi family will retain 100 acres of vineyard land and will grow and sell the grapes to Ponzi Vineyards under a long-term contract.

VINTUS, current Ponzi Vineyards national sales and marketing agent, and importer of Champagne Bollinger, Champagne Ayala, Domaine Chanson and Langlois-Chateau, will continue to represent Ponzi’s trade distribution in the United States.

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Lady Gaga Collaborates with Dom Pérignon

Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga will be featured in an advertising campaign for Dom Pérignon Champagne starting April 6th.

The campaign is to be shot by British fashion photographer Nick Knight, although no further details are available at this stage.

She captioned the post on Instagram: “I am very excited to announce my collaboration with @domperignonofficial! Dom Pérignon and I are both driven by the need for creative freedom, and we’re excited to share the Queendom with you, an artistic universe we created with my dear friend @nick_knight! (sic)”

Lady Gaga and the Champagne house will also be embarking on a wider collaboration that will see the release of limited-edition Dom Pérignon bottles along with a sculpture designed by Lady Gaga.

Dom Pérignon will also be supporting Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Foundation.”

 

Louis Roederer Launches Single-Vineyard Still Wines

Champagne house Louis Roederer has launched a pair of single-vineyard Coteaux Champenois wines, known collectively as ‘Hommage a Camille’.

Named after Camille Olry-Roederer, the great-grandmother of the house’s current CEO, Frederic Rouzaud, the wines are single-site, varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Pinot Noir is made from a plot of 43 ‘ares’ (100 ares to a hectare) in the ‘Charmont’ lieu-dit in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, while the Chardonnay is from an old 55-ares plot in the ‘Volibarts’ lieu-dit in Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger.

The Pinot Noir is known as ‘Camille Charmont’ and the Chardonnay known as ‘Camille Volibarts’ are from the 2018 vintage.

The house said in a statement that both wines are the result of, “a long process of observation and experimentation”, which reveals, “another facet of the Champagne terroirs”. The house’s cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, has been experimenting with still wines since at least 2002.

Camille Olry-Roederer took over the running of the Roederer company after the death of her husband Léon in 1932. She remained in charge until 1975 and was known to be especially fond of the house’s still wines.

The wines will be released in March, with the Pinot Noir priced at €160 (£155) and the Chardonnay at €140 (£130). Production figures are low: 1,631 bottles of the Pinot and 2,880 of the Chardonnay.

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Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Champagne Castelnau Announce Merger

The Boards of Directors of Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) and the Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne Castelnau (C.R.V.C) agreed on the action in order to “strengthen the cooperative movement in the Champagne region”.

The move is subject to a vote at the AGM of both companies in June 2021.Once approved, a new name will be created.

CV-CNF and CRVC represent over 6,000 growers in the French region. Nicolas Feuillatte is the largest producer in the region before this merger was announced. “Our grower families will be proud to back this new cooperative project. Our vision of the future and determination will safeguard the social and federating values of our community of local winegrowers,” said Fabrice Collin, C.R.V.C’s chairman.

Véronique Blin, chairwoman of the CV-CNF, said: “This merger represents the place where our common destiny will take shape, where together we will find the impetus to breathe new life into the Champagne vineyard, and from which we will emerge stronger and more together.”

 

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