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Champagne veteran joins Italian sparkling brand

If any further proof was needed that Italian sparkling wine is flying high, it must surely be that Cyril Brun has left his role as chef de caves at Champagne Charles Heidsieck to lead the winemaking team at Ferrari Trento.

When was the last time a member of the Champenois exited the home of premium French fizz to get in bed with the Italians? The answer is, well…  never.

Marking the first time a chef de caves has joined an Italian winery as full-time enologist, Cyril Brun has left behind the Grand Cru village of Aÿ and his eight-year tenure with Champagne brand Charles Heidsieck to turn his hand to Italian sparkling wine.

Known for recreating Heidsieck’s famous cuvée Champagne Charlie, and with a previous 15-year chapter at Veuve Clicquot under his belt, during which time he spearheaded innovation for the house, cut Brun open and you’d find Champagne fizzing through his veins. However, he has decided to pack up and pursue a new challenge on the slopes of Italy’s Trentodoc region.

“I am convinced of the quality of Ferrari Trento and of the potential of Trentodoc,” said Brun in a statement.

“The opportunity to create traditional method sparkling wines from the unique, mountainous terroirs of Trentino is a privilege and an exciting opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience to a new context. First, there will be a phase of understanding the terroir before considering any changes. Winemaking is all about details. We will elevate, step by step, by focusing on the small details.”

Elevate may indeed be the right word given that vineyards in Trentodoc grow at altitudes far higher than in Champagne, making mountain viticulture key.

Cyril Brun with Ferrari Trento CEO Matteo Lunelli

Brun takes over from Enologist and Technical Director Ruben Larentis, who joined Ferrari Trento in 1986 and has now retired. His 37-year-long career at the winery saw Ferrari Trento win the Producer of the Year Award at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships no less than five times.

“On behalf of my family and the entire team at Ferrari Trento, I express our most heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Ruben for his tremendous achievements over the last few decades,” says Ferrari Trento president and CEO Matteo Lunelli.

“We are excited to welcome Cyril to our team. We look forward to the great contributions and knowledge that he brings to our winery and are sure that he will be able to fully express the potential and the unique style of Trentino mountain viticulture. His talent in our category is unparalleled. We have every confidence that he will create exceptional Trentodoc wines that are loyal to our local traditions, while introducing a new perspective.”

Founded in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari and run since 1952 by the Lunelli family, Ferrari Trento is one of Italy’s leading luxury sparkling wines, cultivated along the foothills of the Alps.

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