Champagne Taittinger is not just a pleasant type of sparkling wine, but history, based on a lot of love and dedication, which have been passed on to every generation of the French family. We turned to one of its inheritors – Clovis Taittinger, so that he could tell us about the secret of true quality champagne with a well-balanced taste and what its message is.
You have studied history and you have had considerable professional experience, but in spite of this fact you go in a different direction by taking up the management of the family business. What provoked you into such a drastic change?
In effect, I didn’t decide on this change. Briefly, my family builds up one of the biggest French companies, which is their property up until 2005 (a winery, luxury hotels and luxury goods) and afterwards they sell it to an American investment fund – Starwood Capital. In 2006 the fund decides to sell Taittinger Winery and after a fierce fight, my grandfather and my father manage to buy it back. Then my father calls me under the pretext that he didn’t get the company back for himself, but rather, he wants the next generation to inherit it. He claims that the company is facing serious challenges and that he needs my help. Naturally, I took it heart and accepted.
Is there any special connection between love and champagne?
I believe that champagne’s only mission in life is to stimulate love and happiness between people. Champagne is love, champagne is happiness.
What makes Taittinger different from all the other brands? What makes it special?
We believe in love! Behind every label we guarantee quality with our name and we cannot possibly afford to make any compromises. Our soul, our heart and our mind are instilled in each and every bottle. Champagne Taittinger Chardonnay has a very light, elegant and delicate taste and I believe that it is amongst the most feminine and sexy drinks you could ever try. This is champagne that makes you happy.
Which new markets are you planning to take over?
We have no such intentions as of now. We sell in 150 countries in the world and our objective is to strengthen our positions there. Our mission is not to spread over new markets, but to create friends and connoisseurs of champagne around the globe.
Do you think that the market here in Bulgaria is not developed well enough?
No, we have a significant team, who have been working in Bulgaria for years now, and we are in the top 3 brands in your country. Personally I have been to Sofia and I can assure you that we have invested as much as we have planned. I don’t know Bulgaria well enough so as to tell you what to expect, but me and Champagne Taittinger want to say, “I love you!”, to the wonderful people in Bulgaria.
You have made outstanding contribution to the successes of the family business and travel has become a considerable part of your life. What is the most difficult thing you have to deal with when you travel so much?
The side effects of different time zones, long evenings and shaving every morning.
Champagne Taittinger bottles are particularly stylish, delicate and feminine. Could you tell us a tad more about the packaging which the champagne comes in? What is the marketing strategy?
The idea is that we make the best wine with the sexiest and most elegant packaging. When you drink champagne, you don’t merely ingest the liquid, you consume history, symbolising luxury and style, and its outer appearance needs to show this clearly.
Taittinger is a special type of champagne. The company has remarkable history and charisma… But at the end of the day, do you think that there is something which you haven’t achieved in winemaking yet?
I think that we produce wonderful champagne but we could improve a lot of things in the future. This is a matter of creativity, passion and hunger. You always have to aspire to become better and not merely count on former glory your whole life. As far as winemaking is concerned, I dare say that we could improve some details, but we are not far from the top. One of the major difficulties is that we don’t have much room for innovation when we speak about the product.
What is your greatest pride?
There is no such thing. I think it would be pretentious of me to say that I am proud of this or that.
Do you consider Champagne Taittinger to be a fashionable drink? What kind of people, in your opinion, are those who consume it and what kind of atmosphere do you imagine it being served in?
I don’t think that Champagne Taittinger is a fashionable drink because fashion is something passing. I am trying to build up Taittinger as an ever-lasting brand, one which is consistent in terms of quality and sensation. I can see that Taittinger is doing quite well in the world as a whole, because it is cool and at the same time a reliable and satisfying brand.
I would be happy to see people who drink Champagne Taittinger have fun and get filled with energy, life, adventure and passion. I want Taittinger to be the champagne of the liveliest, most energetic and elegant people on the planet!
The interview was brought to you by www.winebox.bg – authorised dealer of Champagne Taittinger for Bulgaria.
Text: Fashion Inside