Although a ‘young’ family by Champagne history standards (they only entered the wine industry in 1931), the House of Taittinger is one of Champagne’s most ‘political’ and forward thinking producers. Members of the House have been very active in community service as mayor of Reims, mayor of Paris and senators and deputies of the French Parliament and Taittinger Champagne has been able time and again to accurately forecast the evolution in consumer tastes.
In 1963, Taittinger broke with tradition to become the first champagne firm to advertise its products commercially, taking great care to be as distinctive in its advertising as it is with its champagne. A noted bon vivant and gastronome (his son Claude created the Pierre Taittinger International Culinary Prize in his honour in 1967), Pierre Taittinger predicted the trend toward less heavy and more delicate cuisine, and set out to craft a much lighter, drier style of champagne to match. With the assistance of celebrated chef Fernand Point, he metamorphosed champagne from a dessert drink to one suitable for any course. In the post Second World War period, with the help of his sons François and Claude, Pierre Taittinger built a global empire spanning not only champagne but also luxury hotels, light industry, perfumes and a successful US sparkling wine business (Domaine Carneros), all run by various members of the family under the auspices of the ‘Société du Louvre’. Of course, this success made the company a target for takeovers and it was in fact sold to Starwood Hotel Group in 2005, but bought back by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, grandson of the founder, in 2006.
In keeping with the family tradition of innovation and passion for cuisine, in 2006 Taittinger launched three brand new Cuvées: ‘Les Folies de la Marquetterie’ – a blend of three vintages (with 30 per cent of the wine fermented in oak to give roundness to the texture) from this famous vineyard designed as a gastronomic wine; ‘Prelude’ a non-vintage blend of Grand Cru sites, using 50 per cent Chardonnay from the Côtes des Blancs and 50 per cent Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims, designed as an aperitif style; and ‘Nocturne’ a blend of 40 per cent Chardonnay and 60 per cent Pinot Noir/Meunier, with a 20g/l dosage (addition of sugar) for drinking throughout the evening and late at night. Here Champagne Jayne TV speaks to 4th generation Vitalie Taittinger about Brut Reserve and Comtes de Champagne.
Meet The Champagne Makers Ep 3: Champagne Taittinger
Champagne Jayne TV talks to 4th generation Vitalie Taittinger about James Bond and her passion for her family’s timeless champagnes.
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