New look label for Canards top tier

Canard-Duchêne revealed its repackaged prestige cuvée Charles VII at Vinexpo yesterday in preparation for the Champagne’s 150th anniversary in 2018.

The new-look label includes a set of original names for the different blends, such as Le Victorieux for the brut and Cuvée de Beauté for the blanc de noirs.

The brand’s top cuvée was lanched in 1968 for the centenary of Canard-Duchêne, founded in 1868.

Alexis Petit-Gats, international sales director for the house, described the range-topping Champagne as a “Tribute to French history”, a reminder that it was Charles VII who reinstated the crowning of kings in Reims Cathedral.

Petit-Gats also told db: “Canard-Duchêne has some incredible vintages in the cellars which will be released in the upcoming years as we approach our 150th anniversary year in 2018,” adding that the house would definitely be launching the Charles VII in magnum to celebrate the date.

A new website for the Canard-Duchêne brand has also been unveiled and forms part of a sustained investment in this Champagne, which is one of Groupe Thiénot’s “ strategic brands”, according to commercial director Stanislas Thiénot, son of company founder Alain.

Stanislas explained that the brand has grown in sales and expanded its scope under Groupe Thiénot’s control. “When we bought Canard-Duchêne [from Moët] at the end of 2003 it was 2.2 million bottles and last year it was 3.5m,” he said.

He also pointed out that when the brand was purchased, sales were focused in France, which accounted for 85% of sales. Today, he said, France represents 65% of the Champagne’s market.

Groupe Thiénot also owns CVBG Dourthe Kressmann ­ which it acquired in 2007 and Stanislas stressed that Champagne and Bordeaux were a complementary combination, particularly in the Far East, where red wines from famous châteaux can be used to open the door to Champagne brands.

Speaking of the group’s global approach he summarised: “We need strong distribution to build our brands internationally and we need to work on our brands to help build our distribution.”

Patrick Schmitt, 20.05.2011

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