Home Industry News Releases Champagne Laurent-Perrier & Winebow Announce Women in Wine Leadership Scholarship

Champagne Laurent-Perrier & Winebow Announce Women in Wine Leadership Scholarship


New York, NY, April 18, 2019: Female-owned and run, Champagne Laurent-Perrier is proud to launch the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Women in Wine Leadership Scholarship in association with Winebow. The merit-based award celebrates, encourages and supports women wine leaders in the US.

The scholarship, which is presented with the SommFoundation, will be awarded annually to three women furthering their studies through the Court of Master Sommeliers—one at each course level. The full program includes a monetary endowment, trip to New York City to attend Winebow’s 8th annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions with Laurent-Perrier US President Michelle DeFeo. 

The scholarship honors and was largely inspired by the efforts of the many strong and daring women, both in France and the US, who have led Champagne Laurent-Perrier over the past two centuries:  

Widowed at 35, Mathilde Emilie Perrier took on her husband’s business without hesitation and created the House name. In the late 19th century she established Laurent-Perrier as a pioneer of the region with the development of the Grands Vins sans Sucre, the first zero-dosage cuvée.  

In 1939, Laurent-Perrier was purchased by Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt. During WWII, she ran the business while two of her sons joined the French Resistance. She managed to preserve her capital and sustain the House during the war by walling up her stock of bottled champagne in a cellar. 

Today, sisters Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt and Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt are at the helm of the House. They have maintained the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and sole focus on quality winemaking—through implementing sustainable and ethical environmental practices and acquiring vineyards in highly rated crus.

Michelle DeFeo has been the President of the US subsidiary since 2014. She has built a sales team that is 85% women and has consistently led year-over-year growth in the market. 

“The progress of women in the wine industry depends on a community that supports the advancement of women in leadership positions,” shares DeFeo. “We are excited to see groups of women coming together as resources for each other and we look forward to contributing to the conversation and community through this scholarship.”

The scholarship was announced at Winebow’s Women in Wine Leadership Symposium in late 2018 by DeFeo and the inaugural winners will be introduced at this year’s event in October.

The financial breakdown is as follows: $1,000 for Certified, $1,500 for Advanced and $2,500 for Master. Applications can be found here.

About Champagne Laurent-Perrier: 

Established in 1812, family-owned Champagne Laurent-Perrier has a long tradition of cutting edge innovation in the region and can be credited with many of the ideas that have defined Champagne production. The House focuses solely on Champagne production and has created a style recognized for its freshness, finesse, and elegance. They are the 8th, in the US, and 5th, internationally, largest Champagne brand. 

About the Women in Wine Leadership Symposium:

The Women in Wine Leadership Symposium (WWLS) was started in 2012, with a mission to empower and educate women in the wine industry through a series of panel discussions and wine tastings. The WWLS, hosted by Winebow, is the first event of its kind with winemakers from around the world, sommeliers, retailers, educators, and journalists.



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