Charles Heidsieck appoints Elise Losfelt as Cellar Master

Champagne house Charles Heidsieck has named Elise Losfelt as its new cellar master, taking over from Cyril Brun. The announcement was made today, on International Women’s Day as the collective wine community celebrates women in the industry.

An agricultural engineer from AgroParisTech with a master’s in Wine and Vine along with a national diploma in Oenology, 36-year-old Losfelt has worked in Champagne for the last ten years in various roles at Moët & Chandon. She began her journey in a wine communication role, and subsequently, as head of winemaking for Moët & Chandon, she worked with cellar masters from Moët & Chandon, Mercier, Ruinart and Dom Pérignon.  Losfelt developed her winemaking experience initially by participating in harvests in Majorca (Domaine Mortitx), Saint-Julien (Château Beychevelle) and Australia (Domaine Dominique Portet).

Reflecting on her appointment, Losfelt said: “I have enormous respect for the creativity and rigour of my predecessors and I hope to make a coherent contribution to the continuity of the house style. It is with humility and enthusiasm that I join with these passionate men and women to work together in forging the fate of this iconic House.”

Her predecessor, Cyril Brun, joined Charles Heidsieck in 2015 and recently masterminded the new Champagne Charlie, an iconic House cuvée that enjoyed a renaissance in 2022.

Stephen Leroux, CEO of the House of Charles Heidsieck added: “Throughout his career here Cyril has been much liked by our teams and distributors as well as by our clients and journalist friends throughout the world. He has written a chapter in the long Charles Heidsieck history book, and we thank him for his contribution to the house, his commitment, and his contagious cheerfulness. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”




Thrilled to have been quoted in today’s Financial Post – In a Madame Clicquot feature! 🥂 

In this special Madame Clicquot feature, I state: “Madame Clicquot’s success was exceptional, given the early 19th century’s oppressive, Napoleonic expectations of women in which they were expected to stay home, have children, and keep quiet”“They did not have the right to vote, could not attend university, nor open a bank account in their own name. None of that for La Grande Dame Barbe-Nicole.”

Madame Clicquot was married at 21 and widowed at 27 in 1805. Against considerable opposition, she wanted to take over her husband’s business and approached her father-in-law with a proposal and convinced him to let her manage it. Philippe agreed, with one condition, that she must go through an apprenticeship, which proved to be a success. Success – Madame Clicquot become the first woman to take over a champagne house and was the first “female” champagne producer.

Veuve Clicquot continues to thrive today, and it became a force in the industry due to Madame Clicquot being an extraordinary and cleaver businesswoman.

The Strength and Friendship of Women in Champagne 🍾 

While doing research for this piece, I found a Harvard Business Review Study from 2017, entitled “A Study of the Champagne Industry Shows That Women Have Stronger Networks, and Profit from Them”  – this is an interesting read.

I have also witnessed this firsthand when I visited the region multiple times  6 years ago.  I was conducting research for my book “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” and was interviewing female CEOs running champagne houses.  During my many meetings, lunches, and dinners with these female leaders I found that have bonded together and do meet every few months over dinner to discuss their friendship, business and the industry as a whole.

Honoured and thrilled to be Inducted into the Champagne fraternity The Order of the Coteaux (Paris) in 2021, as a Knight. Over the past few years, I’m happy to see more and more women inducted into this fraternité, and in addition more women added to the Chapter Council.   I’m looking forward to attending in June the Chapter de La Fleur de Vigne, Versailles, Paris and catching up with some female members.

Click here for the article ➡️

#veuveclicquot #womeninwine #womeninwinebusiness #womenleaders #veuveclicquotcanada #veuverose #brutrose #champagne #popbottles #bubbles #LiveClicquot #quotes #wine #madameclicquot #yellowlabel #champagne #champagnelover #champagnelife #winelover #champagnetime #financialpost #vday #valentinesday

Women for WineSense Host “Connect Symposium”

This Thursday, February 9, 2023 between 4:00 – 6:00 p.m, the Napa/Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense will host a “Connect Symposium” at Charles Krug Winery [with online members-only additional livestream.]

The event will include attendees from wineries, vineyards, and other industry members.  The reception will be followed by a presentation featuring proprietary consumer research insights and commentary from the Wine Market Council (WMC) President, Dale Stratton, about “Understanding the Ever-Evolving Wine Consumer.”

The proliferation of choice across the Beverage Alcohol category and the changing demographics of the American consumer has created new challenges for the wine industry. The conversation will focus on how the industry can collectively adapt to better communicate with future high-value consumers with added insight to the local luxury wine tiers.

“I’m honored to present to WWS Napa/Sonoma chapter members. Research clearly shows that the demographics of our country are changing, and it’s important for the wine industry to understand and adjust to those changes,” said Mr. Stratton.

This event is open to active WWS members and non-members that are pre-registered by 5 p.m., February 8, 2023 at


#womenforwinesense #womeninwine #womeninwinebusiness #wineevent #onlinewineevent #WineMarketCouncil #americanconsumer #winemarketing #wine #winelovers #napawine #sonomawine #wineindustry

Women in Wine Talks with Marie-Laurence Sanfourche, Propriétaire du Château Loupiac-Gaudiet

Château Loupiac-Gaudiet dates to the 15th century and has been owned by the Ducau family since the 1920’s. The wine estate is located in the village of Loupiac, above the Garonne River in Bordeaux, and directly across from the famous appellations of Sauternes and Barsac.

Château Loupiac-Gaudiet benefits from southern exposure and has been in the family for five generations. The wine comes from manual harvest with vines that are over forty years old. Covering an area of ​​​​30 hectares, the wine estate produces both sweet white wine and red Bordeaux.

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche joined her husband Marc Ducau in 1991 by taking over the commercial and administrative roles of the company. In 2014, their son Nicolas joined the family business.

Liz Palmer
Who is Marie-Laurence Sanfourche and tell us a little about your history.

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
This is an old family business – at the end of the 18th century, the Chateau was built. It has been the property of the Sanfourche and Ducau families since 1920, when the Ducau’s combined Chateau de Loupiac with their own vineyard, Guadiet, to create Chateau Loupiac Gaudiet.

When I met my husband, I married the man, not the chateau. In 1991 I started to work with my husband and my uncle.  My uncle was the soul of the chateau… he passed away at 93.

I now have the commercial role, which is dealing with the export markets as well as the general administration of the business.  Our largest markets are China and USA, I also work with wine merchants in Bordeaux. My son is the fifth generation and he also works in wine sales and exports. My husband (on the other hand) is the winemaker.

Liz Palmer
Who were your mentors in the industry?

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
My uncle and my father (both) taught me.  I was very often in the vineyard to learn, even when I was a student. They both loved their job and they communicated that love and the hard part of their work….little by little..they taught me. 

Liz Palmer
Do you have a message for other women in wine in your particular role?

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
When I first started and received clients they (the clients) would say oh it’s a woman ….now it’s different. It’s changed a lot since then and it’s much easier.

I find that women communicate differently, and they are more open.

Liz Palmer
The future is certainly bright for women in the industry, what are your comments?

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
Women will be more and more important…. Wine is a question of sensitivity, philosophy, and tasting …… wine speaks to us women.

The personality of the wine and the owner are the same (I believe).

Liz Palmer
In your personal wine collection, what would we find?

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
(I collect) Spanish wines, and wines from California and Australia.

Liz Palmer
What is your favorite food and wine pairing?

Marie-Laurence Sanfourche
For me, I like stronger older Comté or Roquefort cheese paired with and sweet wine.

#Liquoreux #loupiacgaudiet #vins #loupiac #Loupiac #liquoreuxdebordeaux #loupiacwine #sweetwine #loupiacvin #vinliquoreux #vindebordeaux #VinBlanc #Oenotourisme #Vignoble #Vin #winetourism #tourism  #winepairing #womeninwine #womeninwinebusiness #bordeaux #bordeauxlovers

Wine Unify Appoints Alicia Towns Franken Executive Director

Wine Unify, a nonprofit organization, founded to champion and promote diversity within the wine business, has announced Alicia Towns Franken as Executive Director.

Alicia has served as the Head of Mentorship and as a member of the Board of Directors since Wine Unify was officially founded in 2020. Described by her colleagues and mentees as “the heart” of Wine Unify, she brings with her firsthand experience of how the non-profit serves the wine community.

“We have all worked as volunteers at Wine Unify since the beginning, knowing that the most important priority for our donations was to go back to the awards and community-building goals we set for ourselves. We are thrilled to have reached a point in our growth where an Executive Director is both necessary for our growth and a natural part of our evolution,” says Wine Unify Co-Founder Mary Margaret McCamic, Master of Wine. “There is no one I would rather see steer this ship than my friend and colleague, Alicia Towns Franken.”

Board of Directors member Priyanka French stated, “Alicia has brought compassion, raw conversations, a sense of community and genuine relationship building into our Wine Unify program since its inception. We are so excited to see her step into this role.”

Alicia brings with her nearly 30 years in the wine industry. She began her career as the Wine Director for Boston’s famed Grill 23 & Bar, where she worked for over a decade to build one of the city’s most respected wine programs. She later worked as a sought-after wine consultant and event planner under her own business, Towns Franken Consulting. Most recently, she was the Vice President of the Wine Portfolio for Archer Roose, a canned wine company seeking to democratize the wine business. Ultimately, though, her passion for building community, working to champion a more diverse wine industry, and innate talent for mentoring young wine professionals led her to take on the role of Executive Director for Wine Unify.

“I could not be more proud of the work we have done at Wine Unify, and I cannot wait to lead this organization as we continue to grow. Giving back, being a part of change, and working to diversify the wine industry is what feeds my soul,” Alicia says of her new role.

To date, Wine Unify has given 95 awards to BIPOC wine professionals and enthusiasts. These awards include fully-funded courses through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), sponsorship from Coravin, glassware from Stölzle and Gabriel Glas, as well as subscriptions from Jancis Robinson and more. These awards are one piece of the organization’s core mission to welcome, elevate, and amplify the voices of underrepresented minorities in the wine business.

#wineunify #womeninwine #womeninwinebusiness #bipoc #wineindustry #winetrade #winenews #wine #winelovers #winelovers #AliciaTownsFranken