Champagne House Closes 200th Year with Notable Award and New Vintage Release
Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, France — November 7, 2018 — Champagne Billecart-Salmon, celebrating its bicentenary year, announces the appointment of Mathieu Roland-Billecart to the position of Chief Executive Officer. A member of the 7th generation of the family, Mathieu Roland-Billecart assumes the role in January 2019 from his cousin François Roland-Billecart, who has headed the company since 1992. The transition from one family member to the next generation has been one of the keys to Champagne Billecart-Salmon’s long term success.
Since 1818, the founders’ successors have each brought their enthusiasm, their perfectionism, their passion for the terroir and the art of vinification to the creation of Billecart-Salmon’s wines. Born in Champagne and passionate about the region, Mathieu Roland-Billecart is ready to write a new chapter in the family history. After spending 15 years at a leading financial advisory firm in London, Mathieu has proven himself a thoughtful leader as well as an astute business manager, qualities that will enable him to lead a team long devoted to quality. But above all, it is his passion for Champagne that will guide his leadership of this 200-year-old, family-owned House. Having sat on the supervisory board for more than five years before joining the board of directors, Mathieu is well-placed to understand the nuances of running the family business, in particular thanks to the guidance of François Roland-Billecart.
“Champagne Billecart-Salmon’s strength rests on its solid family anchoring that allows us the luxury of taking our time to achieve excellence,” commented Mathieu Roland-Billecart. “My role will be to continue along the path that my predecessors have defined, bringing to it my own contribution. My objective is to continue to develop and improve our wines, because those are what bring about our growth, and most importantly, the loyalty of our most discerning clients. I’m extremely proud to carry on the work of François, who has done a fantastic job over the last 30 years to make Billecart-Salmon one of the best champagne brands.”
Whichever path he takes, he will follow the family motto: “Give priority to quality, strive for excellence.”
For Champagne Billecart-Salmon, this momentous year has also been marked by 200th anniversary celebrations at home in Champagne and around the world, a new cellar, an exceptional harvest season, and, now, recognition by the business community. Champagne Billecart-Salmon was recently named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the North of France region in the Family Business category recognizing the company’s 200-year journey and successful family management over generations.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards pay tribute to the exceptional careers of the men and women who are the driving force behind French growth and competitiveness. The awards are run across seven regions (East, Ile-de-France, South East, North of France, West, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and Grand South) and the regional prize-winners compete for the national prize within each of their categories.
This anniversary year also marks the release of the next vintage of Champagne Billecart-Salmon’s Cuvée Elisabeth. As a family-owned and family-run company, Champagne Billecart-Salmon has the luxury of being able to release new vintages only when it is determined ready. The 2007 vintage of this distinguished Brut Rosé will release in France this year and arrive in the U.S. in early 2019. Created as a tribute to one of the House’s founders, Elisabeth Salmon, this cuvée distinguishes itself through its sparkle, harmonious flavors and unique character reflecting the House’s best terroirs. It is comprised of 50% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne, and 50% Chardonnay from the Côtes des Blancs. Chief Winemaker Florent Nys says it will age beautifully for the next ten years.
Independent since its creation, Maison Billecart-Salmon was founded in 1818 in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ by Elisabeth Salmon and Nicolas François Billecart. Today, the seventh generation of the family continues to pursue a perpetual quest for quality. In constant pursuit of excellence and perfection, the House shapes its greatest champagnes by mixing ancestral traditions with the most modern techniques. Under the watchful eye of the most talented cellarmasters, the Champagnes are aged in the chalk cellars dating from the XVIIth and XIXth century. Elegant and harmonious, these champagnes gracefully celebrate every precious moment.