Champagne Bruno Paillard

Bruno Paillard is a charming gentle giant and true champagne aristocrat. Since 1704, the Paillard family has been discreetly growing grapes in Bouzy, a Grand Cru village in the Montagne de Reims, but just 30 years ago this young maverick bucked the traditional Champagne system. Aged 21, Bruno Paillard began working with his father in the champagne broking business (alas, as the youngest child, Paillard senior had not inherited any of the family’s illustrious vineyards), where he gained an exhaustive knowledge of the champagne business, but soon decided that he did not want to be a courtier all his life.

“To me, life is too short to do things that I do not enjoy; therefore I decided to found my own business. I decided to build my own Champagne House, because I didn’t realise it was impossible,” laughs Bruno Paillard, when asked to explain the reason why in 1981 he launched his Champagne House. At that time, it cost 50,000 francs to start a company in France, so Bruno sold his beloved Jaguar to raise funds and launched his House without any vineyards, cellars or an established sales network. This was a daunting challenge worthy of the Titan Eugène Mercier. It took 13 years of hard slog before Bruno Paillard could afford to buy himself another vintage Jag. Now he has several jags, collectors models citroen DS as well as a holiday home and hobby vineyard in Provence, and an impeccable track record in the champagne industry.

The Guardian (UK) has described Champagne Bruno Paillard in glowing terms: “More elegant than Bollinger, Krug and Dom Pérignon”. However, even though Champagne Bruno Paillard exports more than 80 per cent of its production, this is a brand you will never see in supermarkets. From the start, Champagne’s youngest producer envisaged an elegant, seamless and transparent interpretation of champagne, combining finesse with complexity. Bruno created his first champagne in a rented cellar with carefully selected grapes from independent growers he knew well and, after three years, released his first wines. They were immediately well-received by those who know and love champagne.

Not content with creating a legendary Champagne House in a single lifetime, Bruno Paillard also owns outright 45 per cent of Champagne group BCC (Boizel Chanoine Champagne), a group he created in 1991 to offer some stability in the region during a time where a lot of vineyards and brands were changing hands and there were hardly any family businesses remaining. This group includes Champagne Boizel, Chanoine, De Venoge, Philipponnat and Lanson, and sells more than 20 million bottles of champagne per annum, making it the second largest group in the area after LVMH, whose policy seems to be to swallow up as many champagne vineyards as possible.

As Bruno Paillard concludes in his own inimitable fashion: “The import thing is that we exist. My (own) Champagne House is most of all a creation of art. I consider every bottle of champagne we produce to be a piece of art. What on earth would I do with the money if I sold the companies? I am not getting older, I am getting more complex”.


Meet the Champagne Makers Ep 8 – Champagne Bruno Paillard

Meet the Champagne Makers Ep 8 – Champagne Bruno Paillard

Meet the modern Champagne legend – Bruno Paillard, founder, owner and winemaker at Maison Bruno Paillard in Reims, as he takes Champagne Jayne TV through the story behind his premiere cuvee, vintage and NPU (nec plus ultra) champagnes.

Watch more episodes of Champagne Jayne TV
To book Champagne Jayne as a corporate speaker or champagne tour guide contact Leon Adler M:+61 (0)417 443 515 or E:info@champagnejayne.com

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