Paillard pushes for new disgorgement rule

4th October, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Bruno Paillard is on a mission to convince his fellow Champagne houses to agree to a minimum 3-month period between disgorgement and release.

Bruno Paillard at a disgorgement masterclass yesterday, held at the Antique Wine Company in London

Bruno Paillard at a disgorgement masterclass yesterday, held at the Antique Wine Company in London

A vocal advocate of later disgorgement and, in particular, of greater transparency about disgorgement dates, Paillard is co-chair of the quality commission which forms part of the Champagne region’s “Project 2030”.

Officially launched at the end of last year, this project represents a cooperative effort by growers and houses to improve the long-term health of the Champagne business.

At present, Champagne producers are only required to hold back their product for 15 months once it has been bottled, with no regulations to govern how much of that time elapses after disgorgement.

For his own eponymous brand, which he established in 1981, Paillard insists on a minimum of six months between disgorgement and release. Even the non-vintage Bruno Paillard Brut Première Cuvée, which accounts for around 60% of the house’s production, will spend at least 42 months in bottle before release. This period includes a minimum of 36 months on its lees, another element of Champagne production which Paillard is keen to see extended.

However, he acknowledged the impracticality of trying to impose such a delay on many of the larger Champagne houses. “I don’t think it would be realistic to oblige everybody to do what we do,” he admitted.

“The big groups here have to achieve results more quickly, they would need to sell at a certain level of price and it is more complicated with big volumes – some producers would not survive. I cannot impose the rules on others that I impose on myself.”

Despite this commercial understanding, Paillard spoke vehemently about the importance of allowing Champagne to recuperate after the disgorgement process. “Cellar workers call it ‘l’operation’,” he remarked. “It is surgery: we open it up, we take something out and we close it again. The bottle needs to rest afterwards.”

For all the challenge of winning over the larger houses which dominate the region’s production, Paillard indicated that, aided by particularly enthusiastic support from Champagne’s cellar masters, his proposal appears to be making progress.

“We have managed to achieve a consensus to make it mandatory to have at least three months rest after disgorgement,” he reported, although noted that no vote had yet taken place and any regulation would not be implemented until 2030.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

Senior Technologist - Drinks

Conviviality Group
London, UK

Procurement Manager

JF Hillebrand Global Beverage Logistics
Essex, UK

Porter & Laker Manager

Porter & Laker
Essex, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador - Southwest

Salcombe Distilling Co.
Southwest of England - reporting to Salcombe HQ, GB

Head of Marketing

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more