In 1760, in the midst of ‘The Age of Enlightenment’, culminating in the French Revolution in 1787, François Delamotte, a magistrate in Reims, founded Maison Delamotte – the third Champagne House created – which would later become Lanson.
In 1798, Nicolas-Louis Delamotte, François Delamotte’s youngest son and Knight of the Order of Malta succeeded his father, and adopted the Maltese Cross as the company crest of the House, so choosing the symbol that even nowadays is still present on Lanson bottles.
What is instead the actual name, Lanson, came only later, in 1828, when Nicolas-Louis Delamotte formed a partnership with Jean-Baptiste Lanson: in an agreement reached between the Delamotte and Lanson families, the House took on the name Lanson Père et Fils.
Despite the period of great upheaval lived by France after the French Revolution, the House established significant business outside of France, particularly in Germany and Northern and Eastern Europe and its Royal and Imperial courts.
Even if the House settled in Reims, at 4 Boulevard du Temple – which would become 20 Boulevard Lundy in Reims – they always continued to pursue its aim of international expansion: in 1855, under Jean-Baptiste’s eldest son, Victor Marie Lanson, the House increased sales in Europe, but also, via London, further afield in the dominions of the British Empire.
Under his management the English market became increasingly important to the House: in 1882, the first exclusive agent contract was signed with Percy Fox in London, granting the merchant exclusive rights to distribute Lanson in the UK, while at the begininnig of the new century, thanks to Alfred Ulke, the House’s first agent in Germany, the House introduced its champagnes to the cellars of some key personalities in the Deutsch Country.
Throughout the years, the House reinforced its international presence: in 1905, the House opened large stores in Paris, Brussels, Norway and Germany, and in 1911, Lanson became an official supplier to the Spanish Court.
In the following years Lanson acquired Clos Lanson’,the only vineyard within the walls of the Champagne capital, Reims, along with three floors of cellars on Rue de Courlancy and the Dizy vendangeoir (press house), an integral part of Lanson’s life and spirit for three-quarters of a century, superbly located at the foot of Hautvilliers’ vineyards.
Though the roots in Reims, through the ‘900 century, Lanson has been able to spread its name over the France borders, reaching the most famous tables in the world,as in 1939, when King George V and Queen Elizabeth tasted Lanson Extra Dry 1928 during an official visit to Niagara Falls, in 1945,
When General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and his officers drank Lanson , in 1952, when its Vintage was served at the table of United States President John F. Kennedy and his wife during a dinner at Château de Versailles or in1976 when French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing served Lanson 1969 to his guests, Vice President of the USA, Nelson Rockefeller, and his wife.
In 2006 Lanson joined the Boizel Chanoine Champagne (BCC) group, which became LANSON-BBC, today the second largest group in Champagne.
In September 2010 the house celebrated its 250th anniversary in the magnificent setting of Versailles, further strengthened its prestigious identity around the world.
Headquartered in Reims, at 66 Rue de Courlancy, Lanson is LANSON-BCC most prestigious brand and the group’s largest exporter.
At the head of the Group is Bruno Paillard, founder, chairman, and CEO, who also owns his own champagne house (not part of LANSON-BCC).
Lanson itself is lead by Philippe Baijot President of the House. He is accompanied by Chef de Cave Hervé Dantan who in 2013 joined Jean Paul Gandon, Lanson’s historic Chef de Cave since 1982 and officially replaced him in 2015.
Lanson has its principal market in the UK where the Lanson Cuvée Rosè is the top seller with 32,4 millions bottles sold in 2012, followed by the US (17,7 millions), Germany (12,6 millions) and Japan (9,1 millions).
Since its origins and in the purest champagne style, Lanson is predominantly based on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the House is one of the few in the Region not to use malolactic fermentation during its wine-making process.
The House’s supplies come from over 500 hectares of vines throughout region of Champagne, offering a wealth of choice and enabling Lanson to select the best grapes from the best plots.
This choice, guaranteeing freshness and optimizing the development of aromas, predestines the cuvees for ageing, enabling them to fully express their rich aromatic palette.
In 2014 Lanson invested EURO 14 million to upgrade its production chain, build a new stocking hall, modernise the cuverie and addi of 23 oak casks for a state of the art, thermo and hydro regulated ageing cellar.
By individually vinifyng and ageing its best crus and reserve wines, Lanson is able to better extract the uniqueness of crus and parcels, for more sophisticated and complex assemblages.
The use of oak is not intended to add any wood aromas to champagnes but to increase complexity, Hervé Dantan, the news Chef de Caves and Œnologue at Lanson explains. The objectif is not to give a oaky taste to our wines, but to benefit from the micro-oxygénation that wood allows [and for] assemblages to be more precise and complex.”