12 winemakers to watch in Champagne16th April, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
A number of cellar masters in Champagne have taken on celebrity status in the wine industry – take the ebullient, eccentric, ever game for a quirky quote Richard Geoffroy of Dom Pérignon, or the dashing, debonair and immaculately coiffed Richard Gere lookalike (around the time of An Officer and a Gentleman), Benoît Gouez of Moët & Chandon.
However, a legion of little-known winemakers has been quietly beavering away behind the scenes, sometimes for decades, doing a sterling job in maintaining the consistency and quality of the flagship brut non-vintage cuvées at their respective houses, which account for the vast majority of global Champagne sales.
We felt the time was ripe to unveil their identities and give these rising stars their moment in the limelight, from Denis Bunner at Bollinger, recently appointed as new chef de cave Gilles Descôtes’ right hand man, to Julie Cavil at Krug, who gave up a job in advertising to pursue her dream of becoming a winemaker in Champagne.
Read on for our round up of a dozen chef de caves in the making, listed in alphabetical order, who with their enthusiasm, energy and technical nous, are helping to make their houses sparkle.