In 2012 Laurent-Perrier, official partner of the Spear’s Book Awards, celebrates 200 years of putting sparkle into our lives
Champagne is the staple of any good celebration, so what happens when a champagne house celebrates — as Laurent-Perrier, the world’s largest family-owned house, does this year with its bicentenary?
Besides opening a vintage bottle, Laurent-Perrier has created gourmet experiences on the Orient-Express, taught masterclasses and championed cultural events, including the Spear’s Book Awards. Here are some of the milestones from two centuries of champagne-making.
From its early days in the vineyards of Tours-Sur-Marne, Laurent-Perrier has been innovating and transforming perceptions of champagne.
Established in the heart of the Champagne region by a little-known champagne négociant, it wasn’t until 1949 when the House was acquired by the de Nonancourt family that the modern Laurent-Perrier company came about. Led by a succession of creative men and women, the House has been responsible for many firsts in the world of champagne.
In 1959 the House brought the first multi-vintage champagne to the market — champagnes are given their depth and beauty from the blend and not just the vintage. With this in mind Bernard de Nonancourt, Laurent-Perrier’s founding president, united the best vintage wines to show off the art of blending. The result was Grand Siècle by Laurent-Perrier, delicately honeyed with a soft trickle of bubbles.
1968 saw the launch of one of the House’s most recognised champagnes — the Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier in its fine, curvaceous bottle. Made using exclusively Pinot Noir grapes, it has a soft salmon pink hue and a delicate hint of summer berries. It has been a favourite in the past few years at Laurent-Perrier’s floral afternoon teas inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show.
The Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut launched in 1981, harking back to the champagne of Mathilde Emilie Perrier, widow of Eugène Laurent, an 1887 grand vin sans sucre, which went against contemporary tastes for demi-sec champagnes. This tradition has been carried on with the Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut.
The 1980s saw shipping pass the 6 million bottle-a-year mark, from 80,000 bottles in 1949.
In 2012 Laurent-Perrier remains a family business, passed down through the generations. Look out this year for Laurent-Perrier’s Tous les Sens masterclass with Ercole Moroni at Taste of London, specially curated dinners on the Orient-Express as well as the Ritz, the Spear’s Book Awards and more to be announced.