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Cattier to launch gin from Champagne

Champagne Cattier is producing the first gin made from grapes grown in Champagne, which it plans to launch next month.

Marianne, Britannia
Marianne and Britannia represent the entente cordial between France and the UK, which are working together to produce the new spirit

Called Entente, after the Entente Cordiale between Britain and France at the turn of the last century, the gin unites both countries: it is being made in London by a British master distiller using grapes grown in Champagne.

According to Cattier managing director Philippe Bienvenue, the gin will be released next month using a spirit created from Champagne marc (discarded seeds and skins), and, although the new product will be made it London, Cattier owns the brand, and its name will feature on the label.

Bienvenue told the drinks business that the packaging would display images of Marianne and Britannia, the respective female personifications of France and GB, while, to reflect the use of Champagne-sourced material, it will be sealed with a Champagne cork stopper held in place by a wire cage.

It will not, however, be sold in a Champagne bottle.

Explaining why Cattier chose to make a gin, Bienvenue said that the house believed there must be a potential value for all the rejected grape-derived products from the Champagne-making process.

“When I see at harvest what we are wasting, I thought, what can we do to bring a value to something which doesn’t have any – and so I looked at producing a spirit.

“Our first idea was to make a vodka, but I realised that the vodka market was saturated, and the gin market is booming everywhere – and that if we made a gin, we would be the first to produce a gin from Champagne grapes.”

Bienvenue said that he didn’t want to disclose the name of the London-based distiller, but did tell db that Cattier had already registered “strong interest” in the impending gin from the US, Japan, Gemany, the Netherlands, Australia and China.

In the UK, Cattier’s distributor, Cellar Trends, won’t be handling the gin as it already has an exclusive agreement with another gin brand.

Aside from producing Champagne under its own name, Cattier also makes the Champagne for the Armand de Brignac brand, which is owned by American rapper Jay-Z, and Paris restaurant Maxim’s.

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