CO-OWNER WITH MY BROTHER ANTOINE
BORN IN REIMS WHERE I GREW UP AND LIVED UNTIL MY BACCALAUREATE
MOTHER OF TWO CHILDREN
After a year of literary studies, I attended Paris-Dauphine university and graduated with a Masters degree in international management sciences before acquiring actual management experience at the world cosmetics leader . This academic and professional background allowed me to gain a solid footing in organizational and business management while offering me a great openness to the world. As far as wine is concerned, all my training is empirical, as the sudden departure of my father due to illness prevented me from undertaking wine studies which would have hastened my training. With strong convictions deeply rooted in me, I was enriched by the exchanges I had shared with my father and then relied on a handful of people who served as my mentors. Determination, courage and resilience did the rest .
Not to forget of course the very rich and constructive collaboration with my brother Antoine whose training had been more technical.
I started my career at L’Oréal in the internal audit department before moving on to an international financial controller position in one of L’Oréal‘s subsidiaries. When in 1993, confronted with the economic crisis that severely affected the Champagne region, my father told me he was on the verge of selling the family estate , I immediately left my professional life in Paris in order to join him at AR Lenoble. While we were hoping to constitute a great team , with him in charge of the wines and me in charge of commercial development, he suddenly became ill and was forced to retire – and overnight I was left alone with the keys to the house. I was a young woman, only 28 years old at the time, without any professional training in the world of wine. In the eyes of my peers, I had zero credibility. It took many years of hard work and humility to gain knowledge and experience and thus win my legitimacy .
So it was a very natural decision when Maggie and I decided back in 2016 to create the group La Transmission, bringing together 9 women from Champagne. Women with rich and diverse backgrounds but united by strong common values. Women wishing to share their experiences, their stories, their values, and wanting to encourage other women to join the ranks of the world of wine .
To complement both my academic and practical learnings and to face the challenges ahead of me, I became passionate about subjects related to personal development and the search for an inner balance that is sometimes difficult to find when you are a woman, a mother, and manager of a company in charge of a team. People are a determining factor in the success of any project. I have always been keen to train, encourage, unite, and work with teams and all those who share my values.
My vision about the Champagne wine and region
The Champagne region and appellation are constantly evolving and both have always known how to question themselves in order to remain unique and make people dream throughout the world . Issues of climate changes are now decisive and fascinating as they link us to the very heart of our activity – namely the vineyards. As growers, we know the humility we must show in the face of Nature . We feel intimately responsible for its fulfillment and, faced with this challenge, we are committed with even more determination in eco-responsible approaches as we try to prevent and adapt accordingly. The issue for my parents‘ generation was the yield, especially after having experienced the shortages due to the harsh winters of the 1950s. My brother and I, who started in the midst of the 1990s crisis, favoured the pursuit of maturity by lowering yields and creating a virtuous circle to enrich our soils, an approach formalized when we obtained the HVE certification in 2012. The new issue we are facing is a reduction in acidity due to the context of global warming. At AR Lenoble, we have already anticipated this development by maturing our reserve wines in magnums for more than 10 years and by continuing to work the soils and the vines. The link to the land that marks each generation fascinates and inspires me as it gives so much meaning to the life of any grower, just as to my life .
Simultaneously to these ecological issues, we are experiencing a profound change in the Champagne consumption habits initiated by a changing environment and younger consumers looking for more simplicity and authenticity. My brother and I decided to renovate the lodge built by our grandfather in the heart of our vineyards in Bisseuil, so that we could organise “Champagne picnics” and promote the idea of enjoying Champagne in more informal occasions. This desire for what is real and simple is very inspiring because it is in total symbiosis with the values that have driven me for almost 30 years at the head of the estate.