Laurent-Perrier

The House of Laurent-Perrier was founded in 1812, when Alphonse Pierlot, a former cooper and bottler from Chigny-les-Roses, settled in Tours-sur-Marne on the parcels of land named “Plaisances” and “La Tour Glorieux” and started producing the first champagnes of the House. In 1881 Alphonse Pierlot bestowed the company to his cellar master, Eugene Laurent, who, together with his wife, Mathilde Emilie Perrier, run the Champagne House till his death, in 1887. It was at the time that Mathilde took control of the estate, linking her surname with her late husband’s to create the brand Veuve Laurent-Perrier Thanks to Mathilde’s management the House produced a record-breaking 50,000 cases of champagne, confirming its position as an industry leader. During WWI, the House and country weakened and Madame Mathilde decided to expand Laurent-Perrier’s market and introduce it to Great Britain, still one of the main markets of the House. In 1925, when Madame Mathilde passed away, her daughter Eugenie inherited Laurent-Perrier and ran it untill the beginnings of WWII, in 1939, when, facing difficult economic times, she decided to sell the businessto Madame Louise Lanson de Nonancourt, sister to Champagne producers Victor and Henri Lanson. Thus, when Madame de Nonancourt acquired Laurent-Perrier, the House was on the verge of bankruptcy with only 1,000 mortgaged cases and she could not count on her sons, Maurice and Bernard, at the moment involved in the war. During WWII, Madame de Nonancourt had to manage the House by herself, hiding more than 100,000 bottles behind a wall. In those years, Maurice, her oldest son who was expected to run Laurent-Perrier after the war, was taken prisoner and killed in the concentration camp of Oranienbourg. It was thus Bernard de Nonancourt who assumed ownership of Laurent-Perrier after coming back from the war: after learning every aspect of winemaking from vine to cellar, he was appointed in October 1948 as Chairman and Chief Executive and leaded the House till his death, in October 2010. Since that moment, the House is now under Bernard’s daughters Alexandra and Stéphanie, both of whom are members of the management board. The House has contributed to launch a new concept in international Champagne distribution by establishing its first wholly owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom, Laurent-Perrier, U.K and, since 1995 has showed shows its support for the motion picture industry, beginning a relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the exclusive Champagne featured at the Oscars. In 2012 Laurent-Perrier became an official Champagne partner of Relais et Chateau, an international association dedicated to the promotion and marketing of independent hotels and restaurants with exceptional charm and individuality. Laurent-Perrier House Located in the Grand Crus village of Tours-sur-Marne, Champagne, the House of Laurent-Perrier is among the largest champagne brands in the world and remains a family owned business (Nonancourt Group), with members of the Nonancourt family on its Management Board. The Group also owns other champagne houses such as Delamotte, Salon and De Castellane. It was thanks to Madame de Nonancourt’s youngest son, Bernard, that the House has become one the greatest champagne group in the world. Bernard de Nonancourt, or ‘BN’ as he was known by his staff and family, was an enormously influential man, inspired Laurent-Perrier with his independent spirit and creative audacity, established privileged working relationships with the grape growers and cleverly combined innovation and tradition. Assigned to General Leclerc’s 2nd Armoured Division (2ème DB) during WWII, he returned in 1948: thanks to his mothers suggestion to undergo an apprenticeship to fully understand the business – being a vines labourer, cellar and office worker, and a sales representative – aged 28 Bernard was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of Laurent-Perrier. He created the signature Laurent-Perrier style of freshness, lightness and elegance and developed a unique range of champagnes which are today exported to 147 countries worldwide. After his death, in 2010, the House is in the hands of Bernard’s two sisters, Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt et Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt. Along with de Nonancourt daughters, the House is managed thanks to some key figures: Yves Dumont, since 1997 chairman of the Management Board and Michel Fauconnet, third Cellar Master of Laurent-Perrier after taking over from Alain Terrier. Mister Fauconnet is also Head of Vineyards, Production and Supplies, while Etienne Auriau is the Chief Financial Officer, Jordi Vinyals Head of Sales, Brand Development and Michel Boulaire is Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director. Since 1995, the House has given its support for the motion picture industry, beginning a relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the exclusive Champagne featured at the Oscars. In 2010 it has become an official Champagne partner of Relais et Chateau, an international association dedicated to the promotion and marketing of independent hotels and restaurants with exceptional charm and individuality. Last year, Laurent-Perrier has celebrates its bicentenary with the launch of a limited-edition Grand Siècle Reserve. Laurent-Perrier Style Much of Laurent-Perrier’s style has been created by Bernard de Nonancourt. The essential foundations required to produce great champagnes were set up by Cellar Master Eugène Laurent in 1881. He purchased vines in the very best terroirs of Bouzy, Tours-sur-Marne, and Ambonnay, all of which are Grand Crus villages. They excavated 800 metres of cellars, and set up a tasting laboratory – it is thanks to Monsieur de Nonancourt if the House has become the great champagne group that is today. Thanks to Bernard, Laurent-Perrier is one of the very first Champagne Houses to use stainless steel tanks and to introduce the first ever multi-vintage prestige cuvée, Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle. It exemplifies the House’s dedication to the Champagne craft over an elitist image. Prior to this moment, prestige cuvée Champagnes were always made from a single vintage year. With Grand Siècle– obtained from three vintage years made entirely from eleven of the top 100% rated crus, and the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varietials– the House reaches the pinnacle of champagne blending, giving to a prestige cuvée more complexity and consistency. Laurent Perrier champagnes are generally Chardonnay-driven and multi-vintage – a choicemade to give freshness and lightness – apart from Cuvée Rosé Brut, which made from 100% Pinot Noir using the rare skin contact method (also known as the saignée method) to obtain more complexity and its salmon-pink colour. In 1980 the House was the first to reintroduce the concept of brut nature (no added dosage) Champagne to a new generation, Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut. Behind all these novelties there is the work and the mind of Bernard de Nonancourt as it is for the vintage rosé Grand Siècle Alexandra Rosé 1982, which he introduced in 1987 as a wedding present for his daughter, Alexandra. This vintage – which the last available release being the 1997 edition – is made of a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from a private family reserve and is a rare must-have among connoisseurs. After the death of Bernard de Nonancourt in 2010, Laurent-Perrier style is cared by Cellar Master Michel Fauconnet. Fauconnet, taken over from Alain Terrier in 1973 and become the house’s third ever Cellar Master. Fauconnet’s philosophy is to make vintage wines merely to provide ingredients for the various cuvées, rather than making them a speciality: in this sense, Les Réserves Grand Siècle, created specifically for the bicentenary celebration of the House, in 2012, is a multi-vintage blend of 1990, ’93 and ’95. At Laurent-Perrier, all the champagnes are based on grapes coming from the best sectors of the Champagne growing area, vinified and worked each batch separately. This single vineyard vinification has become part of the signature house style thanks to the work of Cellar Master Michel Fauconnet.

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