The Ladies of Laurent-Perrier and an Anniversary Toast

Let’s have another toast the ladies of Champagne!

I started to write this post a few months ago during a Women’s History Month celebration of the women of Champagne. As so often happens though, lack of time got in the way of my intentions and this post got sidetracked. Today, we come back to it in this quick post and we raise a glass to the long line of women at the helm of Laurent-Perrier. 

We begin with Mathilde Emilie Perrier. Like so many other of the famous women of Champagne, Mathilde came to take over the house when she became a widow. Her husband Eugène Laurent died in the cellars in 1867 when Mathilde was 35. (Eugène had been the cellar master and actually inherited the company from his former employer, Alphonse Pierlo when he died without heirs.) When she took over, she renamed the house by adding her own last name to her husband’s: Veuve Laurent-Perrier.

In this previous post I mentioned that Madame Pommery was the first to crack the code on making the Brut style work. Mathilde took things a step further and in 1889 she launched the house’s Grand Vin sans Sucre, with no sugar added – making it a precursor to the modern Brut Nature styles that have recently become popular.

Sadly, the tumult of the World War I and Great Depression took their toll on the house and Mathilde’s daughter Eugénie was forced to sell the company in 1939. However, it passed into the hands of another woman: Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt of the Lanson family. She wanted a company she could pass onto her sons Maurice and Bernard. She ran it through  WWII though, managing to maintain her stock by walling up bottles of Champagne hidden in a cellar. Bernard did eventually take over and created the style the house is still known for.

He ran and grew the company for 60 years, but now his two daughters, Alexandra Perèyre de Nonancourt and Stéphanie Méneux de Nonancourt oversee the house. 

The lady power continues from there, as Michelle DeFeo is the President of Laurent-Perrier U.S.  She’s been in this role since 2014 and is responsible for growing U.S. business and raising awareness of the brand. She’s been very successful, as growth has been on a continuous upswing every year.

Greg and I enjoyed a mag of the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé NV for our anniversary a few months ago, which we spent with friends at the Culinary Cabin in Tahoe. Our friend Drew greeted us with the bottle and jar of caviar from the Caviar Company in SF (see pic at the top). How kind is that?! He and his wife Lucy take the cake on gracious hosting. We were just back up at the Culinary Cabin this past weekend for Memorial Day weekend, so it seems appropriate to share this memory now, even if it’s a bit delayed from when it was originally intended. (New posts are sure to arise inspired by this trip soon, and you can see the recent culinary adventures on the @NibblingGypsy Instagram feed.)


The wine was a pretty classic representation of rosé Champers, on the sleek side with plenty of minerality, but with notes of crushed berries, a hint of citrus zest and toasted almond to round out the palate. (For more info on the wine, see here.) We enjoyed it with friends while eating potato chips fresh out of the fryer topped with that caviar. Talk about decadent! YUM!!!

Incidentally, honoring the spirit and history of the women who have led this house, Laurent-Perrier launched a scholarship program earlier this year to further the career development of women in the wine industry.

Additional sources used for this post
But First, Champagne: A Modern Guide to the World’s Favorite Wine by David White (This is a good examination of the region as a whole, it’s history, the subregions, and key producers.)
I also made us of press materials provided by Teuwen Communications.



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