Ex Bollinger ambassador switches sides14th March, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt
Former Bollinger brand ambassador Simon Leschallas has taken up the role of brand ambassador for Champagne Charles Heidsieck in the UK.
The appointment of Leschallas marks a further attempt to augment the sales and recognition for Charles Heidsieck in the UK since the house was acquired by EPI – a family owned group run by Christopher Descours – in June 2011.
Already, EPI has installed a new director for Charles Heidsieck in France – Stephen Leroux – as well as a new exclusive distributor in the UK: Liberty Wines.
Leschallas announced the official termination of his post at Bollinger’s UK importer, Mentzendorff, in January this year, although back in September 2009 his contribution was reduced to a part-time role, which saw him manage sporting events for the Champagne brand.
At that time, Leschallas set up his own consultancy, called St Aubyn Leschallas, which currently represents Vondeling Wines from South Africa in the UK, as well as Two Degrees Pinot Noir from New Zealand.
However, he was unable to represent any other Champagne brand in the UK until the official termination of his agreement with Mentzendorff in January this year.
“Until I got out of Bollinger, I couldn’t attempt anything else,” he told the drinks business this week, before describing his new post as “perfect timing”.
Leschallas was in fact approached by Leroux to take up the UK-based role for Charles Heidsieck because he had previously worked with Leschallas – Leroux was marketing director at Bollinger until December 2011 when he moved to Louis Roederer as export manager, before taking up the role as director at Charles Heidsieck in January 2013.
Leroux commented, “I know Simon well and have great respect for his knowledge of Champagne and his ability to communicate.”
Leschallas added, “I worked with Stephen for 12 years so I know all about him and he knows all about me – I haven’t been able to bluff my way in.”
He then said that he was “chuffed to bits” with his new position, which will see him develop sales and brand awareness for Charles Heidsieck in the UK for one day a week.
Continuing he told db, “I’m absolutely over the moon to be back in the Champagne world and I’m very much looking forward to working with a brand that has so much to offer.”
He said that his approach to developing the brand would focus on “getting people to taste it and understand it,” while noting that he would be working closely with Liberty Wines.
Finally, he described Charles Heidsieck as a Champagne with “latent brand awareness,” as well as a house that has been “rather hiding its light under a bushel”.
You can read more about the Charles Heidsieck relaunch following its purchase by EPI by clicking here.