Vinexpo 2011, Brand Strategy, Usher…An Interview with the CEO of Champagne de Venoge

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr) From 90 to 97/100 in Wine Spectator and with many other top scores in international wine magazines, Champagne de Venoge collected honours from wine experts over the last ten years. Let’s come back on this success story with four questions adressed to Gilles de la Bassetière, CEO of the Champagne House de Venoge.

Champagne de Venoge recently published "Noblesse Oblige". Could you tell us more about this book?

"It was important for Champagne de Venoge's lovers as well as for the brand itself to come back on a such long and beautiful history. From Sarah Bernardht to the American singer Usher, including Bo Derek, the history of Champagne of Venoge is summarized in a magnificient book signed by the historian and writer Patrick de Gmeline. It is related to the women and the men who built the great history of our House and also describes the extraordinary life of an exclusive Champagne brand. This book gives a beautiful vision of the singular style of our champagnes and more specifically of the Cuvee des Princes and Cuvee Louis XV. So many stories and photographs which remind us that, since 1837, Champagne de Venoge always enjoyed a contemporary life without forgetting its noble origins."

How would you explain the success of Champagne de Venoge since its creation?

"At the beginning, a family decided by passion to create a champagne which would set up new standards. Recognizable by the blue ribbon called "Cordon Bleu", our champagnes played a major model role in the 1930's for all our competitors. Then, over the years, people became more and more knowledgeable about Champagne and de Venoge pursued its efforts to improve quality and maintain the House style. We developped in Europe, in the USA and in Asia but our clients are looking for the same great experience and great taste that de Venoge brought to the first customers. Consequently maintaining traditional methods in our daily work may be a major part of our success which is confirmed each time I share a bottle of Champagne de Venoge with a group of connoisseurs."

How would you see the brand in the next few years?

"Maintaining the de Venoge's style and the high level of quality are the two major objectives we are focusing on. So considering this high level of expectations, we do not intend to dramatically increase our production. Moreover, in those times when people tend to switch from one brand to another, Champagne de Venoge has a rare chance to have faithful customers. Noblesse oblige, de Venoge is a brand which built a strong relationship with professionals and private consumers. We appreciate this confidence but we never should take it from granted and will continue to offer top cuvées such as Louis XV Rosé or Blanc de Blancs Vintage to show how great the potential of our Champagne House is."

What do you expect from Vinexpo 2011, the international wine fair in Bordeaux that will start next Sunday?

"Noblesse oblige, Champagne de Venoge will celebrate the launch of the new vintage of Cuvée Louis XV at Vinexpo. After having spent 15 years in the cellars of Epernay, this 1996 vintage will be finally presented in a beautiful packaging and in its famous «carafe» bottle. This moment in history will remind us that, on the 25th May 1728, Louis XV of France made viticultural history by issuing a decree allowing only the wines of Champagne to be both shipped and marketed in bottle. In celebration of the ‘founder’ of Champagne, Champagne de Venoge have named the release of the prestige cuvée ‘Louis XV’. A blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, this wine is a beautiful symbol of the great and long history of de Venoge Champagne House. Another intense moment will be the celebration of our prestigious oenotheque located in the heart of Epernay. We will open the doors of our cellar at Vinexpo with a tasting of some prestigious vintages that became references in the world of fine wines. Some Extra-Brut 1983, Extra-Brut 1985, Vintages 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990 will be presented to reveal the unique style of this house founded in 1837."

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr)