Honoring Vitalie Taittinger | Champagne Taittinger

Vitalie Taittinger is head of marketing for the Champagne Taittinger and great granddaughter of founder Pierre Taittinger. She serves an ambassador for Taittinger champagne around the world, as well as an inspiration for the champagne house.

Vitalie graduated from the Emile Cohl School of Art in 2001 after studying the various applied art techniques used in illustration and graphic design.  As soon as she graduated, she wrote a monograph dedicated to the surrealist painter Alfred Courmes in collaboration with Gilles Bernard. This was published by ‘Le Cherche Midi’ in 2004. The book has a preface written by the philosopher Michel Onfray.

Keeping up with the entrepreneurship spirit which has always characterized her family, Vitalie Taittinger created her own company in 2002 and developed numerous projects in the world of wine and gastronomy. She greatly admired her father’s brave decision to regain ownership of the Taittinger Champagne House and, wishing to support him in this new family adventure, in 2007, she joined her father, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, in the family business.

She divides her time between a very busy professional life and a lovely family of four children in Reims.

About Champagne Taittinger

Founded in 1734, the Taittinger Champagne house is based in Reims.  The flagship wines of the house are the Comtes de Champagne (composed of 100% Chardonnay) and Comtes de Champagne Rosé (70% Pinot noir and 30% Chardonnay ).  In 2017, Taittinger planted its first vines in England, near a village in Kent, for its venture into English sparkling wine.

In 1734, Jacques Fourneaux established a wine-business in Champagne and worked closely with the Benedictine Abbeys which, at that time, owned the finest vineyards in the region. After the First World War, the wine-house was moved to a large mansion on the Rue de Tambour in which Theobald I of Navarre (1201–1253) had lived. A long-standing legend held that it was he who brought the Chardonnay grape from Cyprus on returning from a crusade in the Middle Ages.

The Taittingers were a family of wine merchants who, in 1870, moved to the Paris region from the Lorraine in order to retain their French citizenship after the Franco-Prussian War (1871). In 1932, Pierre Taittinger bought the Château de la Marquetterie from the wine house of Forest-Fourneaux. The vineyards of the château were planted with Chardonnay and Pinot noir since the 18th Century and developed by Brother Jean Oudart, a Benedictine monk, one of the founding fathers of champagne wine. Later the property had belonged to the writer Jacques Cazotte.

Bottles in the Taittinger Caves

From 1945 to 1960 the business was run by Pierre’s third son François. Under his direction, the Taittinger cellars were established in the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise, built in the thirteenth century in Gallo-Roman chalk pits dating from the fourth century. After François’ death in an accident, his brother Claude took over and directed the business from 1960 to 2005. It was during this time that Taittinger became a champagne house of world renown.

Champagne Taittinger was sold in July 2005 by the Taittinger family, along with its subsidiary, Société du Louvre, to the U.S. private investment firm Starwood Capital Group. Those in the profession proposed that the objectives of short-term profitability, or even medium term, at any price, advocated by the then current managers of the business, were not compatible with the production of Champagne wine of quality, which takes time, trust and a large delegation of authority to the masters of the cellar.

Finally, on May 31, 2006, the Northeast Regional Bank of the Crédit Agricole, in collaboration with Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, bought the business for 660 million euros. The area covers 288.84 hectares of vineyards and has 12 to 13 million bottles in stock. The Château de la Marquetterie and its cellars were part of the overall purchase.

Celebrating Women in Wine

In 1998, NWA and Tom Black put together a women-centric l’Eté du Vin to celebrate the power and success of women in the wine industry.  It’s only fitting that on the twentieth anniversary of that empowered evening, we do the same.  These women are talented, fierce, and deserving of our recognition for more than simply being women.