Interview: How Nicolas Feuillatte became France’s favourite champagne

Despite having only begun in 1976, French champagne brand Nicolas Feuillatte has quickly grown to establish itself as a market leader and one of the pre-eminent champagnes of the world. The brand’s Managing Director, Christophe Juarez, enlightens us on how this phenomenal growth came about…

Christophe Juarez, Managing Director of Nicolas Feuillatte
Christophe Juarez, Managing Director of Nicolas Feuillatte

Tell us a little bit about Nicolas Feuillatte.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte was founded in 1976. Mr. Nicolas Feuillatte, himself, was a successful businessman who switched from running a US-based coffee bean business to opening his own domain in the Champagne region. He started a small estate and then joined Centre Vinicole de la Champagne, France’s oldest union of champagne producers, to build the Nicolas Feuillatte champagne brand as we know it today.

In the 40+ years of our existence, we’ve become very successful, both within France and on an international scale. I’m proud to say that we are now not only the No.3 champagne brand worldwide, but we are also the absolute leader, the preferred champagne of French people. In fact, we are the top-selling brand within France, which is quite a feat.

The new Espace Nicolas Feuillatte, inaugurated in April 2017
The new Espace Nicolas Feuillatte, inaugurated in April 2017

What makes Nicolas Feuillatte so unique?

First of all, we are a co-op, which means that we are owned by the growers. We currently work with about 4,500 grape growers which represents one-third of the vineyards in Champagne. This huge source allows us to achieve exactly the blending we want for the best possible flavour and quality.

Secondly, we are known for making only the best champagnes. The jewel in our champagne collection, a special tete de cuvee, is the “Palmes d’Or”. It is created using only the most outstanding, flavour-packed grapes.

Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Rose 2006
Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Rose 2006, a delicious tete de cuvee

Tell us about the newly refreshed brand visual identity and packaging.

We are a relatively young brand compared to other champagne houses, and we pride ourselves on our innovative approach. We’ve just retooled our entire range of products this year, including the packaging and even our logo. Our new logo is very emblematic. We have the small grapes ringed by heart-shaped vines. The grapes represent our workforce, the people who drive our success. It is a tribute to the thousands of grape producers within the co-op who make Nicolas Feuillatte so special.

We’ve retained the signature blue label for the Reserve Exclusive Brut, which is iconic for Nicolas Feuillatte, to ensure we remain recognisable and attractive. Our bottles have also gone through a significant revamp. The Palmes d’Or collection, which features a unique and eye-catching ‘pearl-marked’ design, will be the next to follow.

Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs 2008
Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs 2008

What’s next for Nicolas Feuillatte?

Our focus now is very much on China. It’s an enormous market with huge potential, and we believe Hong Kong is the perfect gateway. Of course, Hong Kong already boasts a large legion of champagne aficionados, but we hope to introduce them to new expressions of our champagnes as well.

Thank you.