A new dawn greeted Severine Frerson this morning.
She woke up as the new cellarmaster of Maison Perrier-Jouet, the eighth person and first woman to do so in the 209-year history of the illustrious house founded in 1811 by newly weds Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adelaide Jouet.
Situated on the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, Champagne Perrier-Jouet is part of the wine portfolio of French drinks giant Pernod Ricard.
Although not from a winegrowing family, Severine Frerson has equal impeccable credentials as she was born in the famous Grand Cru village of Sillery in the Montagne de Reims.
The Frenchwoman graduated with a National Diploma in Oenology from the University of Reims in 2001 (one of Champagne’s most challenging vintages) and joined Maisons Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck the following year where she became the former’s cellarmaster in 2016.
In 2018, Severine Frerson was made Cellarmaster of Perrier-Jouet.
8th Cellarmaster Severine Frerson
7th Cellarmaster Herve Deschamps
Yesterday, Thursday 15 October 2020, after 37 years, Chef de Cave Herve Deschamps officially handed over the key of the cellar to Frerson in a virtual ceremony viewed around the world.
Severine Frerson had been working closely with her predecessor for the last year and a half as Herve Deschamps transmitted to her the winemaking legacy of Maison Perrier-Jouet.
As she steps into her new role, Frerson feels an affinity with the spirited young woman from a family of Normandy merchants whose name is one half of Maison Perrier-Jouet.
‘Quite apart from the romance of her relationship with Pierre-Nicolas Perrier, I see Rose-Adelaide Jouet as a woman of character and independence, just like I am. When I was looking through the archives, I found that she took an active role in receiving visitors and presenting the house and its cuvees. She placed great importance on exchange and conviviality, which is exactly what I do myself. I would never, for example, taste wines on my own, it’s an experience I always want to share with others.’
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