A visit to the most prestigious champagne domains makes this trip an unforgettable experience. Champagne is known for its undeniable beauty. First stop: Maison Laurent-Perrier. I am greeted there by an all-female team. They take good care of me, showing me around the garden, the reception areas in the cellar and by finishing with a tasting of each of the products. A little extra, an incredible favor is offered to me; I will be tasting two primeurs, which made its official release in the fall of 2019. This kind of little attention confirms to me how immensely lucky I am and how these moments I live are moments of pure happiness.
The story begins with the founding of the House in 1812 by André Michel Pierlot, a former tonnelier and bottler. His son Alphonse succeeded him and, as he had no heir, he passed the domain on to his cellar master Eugène Laurent. The domain will then take the name of Veuve Laurent-Perrier when Mathilde Émilie Perrier, widow of Eugène Laurent, decides to combine the two surnames while she takes care of its development. Eugénie Hortense Laurent, her daughter, inherited the domain in 1925 and sold it to Marie-Louise de Nonancourt, born Lanson, in 1939. The latter widow and mother of four children, anxious to ensure their future, took possession of Domaine Laurent-Perrier.
In 1945, Bernard de Nonancourt, one of the children, began a demanding apprenticeship in all stages of the business from the vineyard to the cellar before being appointed Chairman and CEO in October 1948 at the age of 28. At that time, the domain employed around twenty people and marketed 80,000 bottles.
Driven by a passion for champagne, respect for traditional values and, above all, respect for people, Bernard de Nonancourt instilled Laurent-Perrier with independence of spirit and creative audacity. He dedicated his life to this passion. His courage, convictions and dynamism will forever transform the small champagne house, acquired by his mother in 1939, into a world-renowned brand. It is to him that we owe the Laurent-Perrier style. Freshness, finesse and elegance are the features that characterize the estate. He developed a unique range of champagnes that are exported worldwide to more than 160 countries. Fascinated by innovation, attached to the Champagne traditions and the quality of the wines, Bernard de Nonancourt gave Laurent-Perrier a dazzling impulse and created a great prestigious brand with a unique range.
At the end of the 1950s, Laurent-Perrier is one of the rare Champagne domain to choose to equip itself with stainless steel vats, with the objective being to control the first fermentation at low temperature in order to leave all the freshness to the wine. It will be the first to have its own thermo-regulated vathouse. In their quest for excellence, they select grapes from the best areas of the Champagne vineyards, vinify each parcel separately and carefully monitor the blends with great care. As if that wasn’t enough to highlight and differentiate, Bernard de Nonancourt suggested that some of them be placed in unique and original bottles. Thus the Cuvée Grand Siècle initiates the first refined and elegant bottle of the range, inspired by the first bottles of the XVIIth century which contained the first champagne wine; just like the Cuvée Rosé whose bottle shape is more rounded with an escutcheon, inspired by the time of King Henri IV.
Bernard de Nonancourt died in 2010, leaving behind him a great man whose human qualities were characteristic of him. He also leaves a way of doing things and an accomplishment that is still being worked on today to be respected in every detail. “Passion, creative audacity, independence of spirit, elegance and simplicity are the fundamental values of the domain. At Laurent-Perrier, it is passion that guides the hand of man. A true creator of style and emotions since 1812, Laurent-Perrier invites, through each champagne wine in its range, to celebrate the moment and live a unique sensory experience.”