Family Matters

Champagne Joseph Perrier was the favourite champagne of Queen Victoria

Benjamin Fourmon is the great great-grandson of Paul Pithois, who purchased Champagne Joseph Perrier in 1888. The house had been founded in 1825.

Pithois had worked with Louis Pasteur in his research on the fermentation of wine.

Pasteur was born in the Jura (famous for its Vin Jaune). The French biologist/microbiologist/chemist created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. Pasteur is also remembered for his discoveries of the principles of microbial fermentation and pasteurization.

Benjamin Fourmon’s first job was outside the family business. He was an accounting controller for Accenture in Paris.

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 2014, Fourmon joined Champagne Joseph Perrier as their Sales Representative in the French capital. Later, he was promoted to Export Manager.

Just as critically, Benjamin Fourmon involved himself with the vineyards, including developing relationships with growers who supply grapes to the house as Joseph Perrier’s own vineyards are not enough to produce the around 800,000-bottle annual production.

The leading brand in Chalons-en-Champagne, Champagne Joseph Perrier  exports a very high 70% of annual production. The United Kingdom is the largest market. There is an historical reason for this.

Joseph Perrier was the favourite champagne of Queen Victoria and her son King Edward VII. In honour of the royal preference and patronage, the flagship non-vintage is named Brut Cuvée Royale.

The Benelux countries (Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg), Italy, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are also important markets.

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 what is required.

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 

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

Joseph Perrier is the leading brand based in Chalons-en-Champagne

In 2020 (plans having been made five year before that), Champagne Joseph Perrier finished renovations of their cellars and offices. A new tourism centre was created to welcome their many guests and customers from throughout France and around the world.

Covid 19 intervened but, hopefully, 2021 will see Champagne lovers descending on Chalons-en-Champagne to toast a new era at Champagne Joseph Perrier.

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