We had the opportunity to meet the Managing Director of Laurent Perrier UK and learn a bit more about his experience so far with the family owned champagne house in London and what he advises should be the perfect way to choose your champagne!
When did you start working with Laurent-Perrier and what has kept you going since then?
Some may call it destiny that I started working for Laurent-Perrier UK Ltd in May 1996 some five months after choosing to serve Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé at my mother’s 60th birthday. I became managing director in 1999 and to be fair I was in the right place at the right time as the market once it had recovered from its post millennium dip grew year on year until 1998. Along with a daily glass of champagne it has been the challenge of the market post financial recession that has kept me going. Like many luxury brands faced with a radically different commercial landscape it has been important to adapt and adjust. The last six years have been witness to a significant change in our trading footprint and are affirmed commitment to the premium sector. I am also quite privileged as being associated with the brand it introduces me to many fascinating people, places & experiences.
Words that best describe Laurent-Perrier?
Family owned, Light, fresh, elegant
What do you think are the common mistakes people make when buying champagne?
It is never a mistake to buy champagne only a mistake to buy something instead! However it is possible with a little knowledge to purchase smarter. Champagne is a broad category with numerous Grands Marques each with a different personality. We should think of champagne as more than just a celebratory, drink for instance at Laurent-Perrier we do a lot of activity positioning champagne within the broader context of gastronomy illustrating champagne when paired sympathetically is a perfect match with food. This is aided by the breadth of styles available from totally dry sans dosage through to the richer sweeter styles. Finally we often forget that the Prestige Cuvées of champagne are in fact ‘fine wines’ often made from grapes selected from the finest vineyards, made in the finest years and aged for a very long time in the cellars until they reach perfection.
What is your advice to the first time visitor to London?
Firstly, plan ahead, there is just so much to see and do. Secondly,try to walk as much as possible in central London. It is a city that lends itself to walking and repays a little effort generously. Even after working here for so long I’m amazed how many times I come across fascinating places just by taking a slightly different route when walking.
What are the plans for the future of Laurent-Perrier?
In terms of our champagnes and not wishing to appear lacking in ambition, the future plans are simply to build on our solid foundations and being based on a broad (for a champagne house) product range we will continue to ensure we develop the marketing, sales and distribution in the appropriate channels. Unlike say a manufacturer of luxury goods we do not change our range with the seasons rather we work with what each growing season provides us. If however I were to single a short to medium term priority it would be to place greater emphasis on Grand Siècle our prestige cuvée. Whilst pleasing as it is for it to be considered one of Champagne’s best kept secrets I consider it my obligation to bring it to a wider audience.
For more information please visit Laurent-Perrier UK