Champagne Joseph Perrier’s Benjamin Fourmon – representing the sixth generation – took over from his father in January 2019. Before becoming managing director, he was their export manager and sales representative in Paris, seen here outside the famed Grand Vefour with Chef Guy Martin. The 2 Michelin star restaurant was founded in 1784.
In January 2019, a change took place in Joseph Perrier, the leading Champagne brand in Chalons-en-Champagne. Jean-Claude Fourmon, great-grandson of Paul Pithois, who purchased the house in 1888 (Pithois had worked with Louis Pasteur in his research on the fermentation of wine) handed responsibility of the house to his son, sixth-generation Benjamin Fourmon.
The senior Fourmon had first arrived at Joseph Perrier in October 1978. He was its international ambassador, travelling the world spreading the good name while adding his personal charm to the inimitable bubbles.
In the last 15 years he was in charge, Jean-Claude Fourmon also looked to improving the production facility and quality of the champagne, and expanding the range of grapes sourcing by searching for new quality terroir.
As for Benjamin – who joined in 2014 – his first job in Paris was outside the family business. He was an accounting controller for Accenture. Today, like his father before him, Benjamin Fourmon is familiar with the various facets involved in running a Champagne house. The younger Fourmon was their Sales Representative in Paris, Export Manager, and just as critically, involved himself with the vineyard, including relationships with growers who supply grapes.
Fifth-generation Jean-Claude Fourmon, great-grandson of Paul Pithois, who purchased Champagne Joseph Perrier in 1888. Pithois had worked with Louis Pasteur in his research on the fermentation of wine.
Joseph Perrier is the only major brand still based in Chalons-en-Champagne.
Whereas most of the cellars in Reims are underground, the three main galleries of the three-kilometre Gallo-Roman cellars of Champagne Joseph Perrier are on ground level.
The oldest bottles are under lock and key. The cellars were dug out 2,000 years ago. Champagne Joseph Perrier is in a building that was a post office in the 19th century.
Champagne Joseph Perrier was founded in 1825. The namesake bought a building that was a former post office. There was also a hillside where, 2,000 years ago, the Romans had dug out chalk to use for construction. Whereas most of the cellars in Reims are underground, the three main galleries of the three-kilometre Gallo-Roman cellars of Champagne Joseph Perrier are on ground level, something very rare in Champagne. Towering nine metres high, their natural, constant temperature is 11° Celsius, perfect for storing some 3.5 years’ worth of stock for Chalons-en-Champagne’s leading brand.
Champagne Joseph Perrier is the proprietor of 22 hectares of vineyards. These stretch along the Marne River, Hautvillers, Damery and Vermeuil. Precious and prized as they are, these sustainably cultivated vineyards only meet about 25% of production needs. The rest comes from growers from the Cote des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, and Vitry-le-François in the Marne Valley.
Although Champagne regulations stipulate that the bare minimum ageing a non-vintage has to undergo in the bottle is 15 months, at Joseph Perrier they give it three years, more than twice of what is required. You simply can’t hurry quality.
Since 2015, Champagne Joseph Perrier has entered a new era. The cellars and offices have been renovated and a tourism centre is being created to welcome their many guests who visit from France and around the world each year. The official opening of this new facility will take place sometime in 2020.
This coming Thursday 19 December 2019 in Singapore, enjoy a dinner with Nino Franco Valdobbiadene, Champagne Drappier, Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 (from double magnum) and Champagne Joseph Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut and Demi-Sec. For details please click here.