One of the most successful Champagne houses in the world, Laurent-Perrier, wasn’t always known as that. In fact, when André Michel Pierlot founded the house in 1812 at Tours-sur-Marne, it took another 75 years before the house was officially named Laurent-Perrier.
The house has a long history of being passed down to different families—Pierlot, having no kin to entrust his vineyards to, willed his company to Eugene Laurent. In 1887, Laurent tragically passed in a cellar accident, and his widow, Mathilde Emilie Perrier took over the business. In 1925, Laurent’s daughter, Eugénie Hortense Laurent inherited the business and sold it to Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt in 1939.
During World War II, Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt continued to run the business while her two sons, Bernard and Maurice, joined the French Resistance. Bernard returned home in 1945 and began an apprenticeship, learning every aspect of the business. Finally, in 1948, he was promoted to Chairman and CEO, and held this position for 60 years.
After surviving two World Wars and The Great Depression, the business was turned around by Bernard, becoming the infamous house that it is today. Over 200 years since its inception, the house is known for its non-dosage Champagne and fresh style of wine. Below, explore just a few of the reasons that make this globally-consumed Champagne so special!
Breaking Convention in Champagne
In 1960, Bernard released the brand’s prestige cuvée—Grand Siècle. He believed that nature could not provide the perfect vintage every year, so instead, he decided to blend wines from three different vintage years. He was the first to even consider blending vintage years and broke many traditions in Champagne, a region known for vintage wines exclusively from select years.
Rigorous Training for Chef de Caves
Throughout its history, Laurent-Perrier has had just three Chef de Caves (French for winemakers!). Eduoard Leclerc retired in 1981, Alain Terrier retired in 2004 and Michel Fauconnet, who took over after that. Fauconnet has been with Laurent-Perrier since 1973 and trained with both of the previous cellar masters. Now, Fauconnet has begun to train the next Chef de Cave, Dominique Demarville, with the hopes of retiring in 2020.
The small number of winemakers allows for Laurent-Perrier’s style of wine to remain linear after all of these years. When you pick up a bottle of Laurent-Perrier, the quality remains consistent due to their diligent training methods.
Family and Female Owned
After Bernard passed in 2010, his daughters Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt and Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt, took over the business and are continuing to expand the brand. Laurent-Perrier has a long and storied history with being female-owned, dating all the way back to 1887.
When you purchase your next bottle of Champagne for the holidays, consider Laurent-Perrier’s many qualities that make the brand so special!