Once upon a time... Taittinger

Sep 24, 2020 • 5 mins

Proud of its recovered independence, Taittinger brandishes its wines at the top of the Champagne Houses. The dynasty is here coupled with an empire, embodied by colourful characters - Pierre-Emmanuel, Clovis and Vitalie - the heirs of visionary heroes who have always controlled their destinies. The second chapter of the brand history, rich and exciting, promotes it in the firmament of Champagne. Brilliant!

Taittinger : the tome of builders

In the Taittinger family, I ask for the daughter. Vitalie is the House muse, its image and embodiment. Endowed with the temperament of a conqueror, a free woman and adventuress, she was raised with the family values: honour, independence and righteousness. In love with wines and Champagne above all else, she is an Amazon of modern times, hiding behind an impeccable appearance the nonconformist character of her ascendants. « I like sensual wines », she says with a smile. Her great-grandfather was a hero of the Paris liberation, her great-uncle was a builder, and is at the origin of the constitution of the Taittinger vineyard and the development of the House, her grandfather was the town councilor and Secretary of State, entirely devoted to the cause of his fellow citizens and perfectly self-righteous. Vitalie has inherited the virtues of intransigence, creation and excellence from the lineage. She wisely associates her face to the brand, but she alsosimmers with the same creative madness which has led her father to defeat Goliath on his own ground …

In the Taittinger family, I ask for the son. Clovis, the crowned ambassador of the House of Reims, has followed the example of his father in 2007 and has taken his pilgrim's staff to travel over continents as a good shepherd, wearing out his shoes in the 140 countries in which Taittinger is present. Actually Chief Executive, he is a strong link of the family project. Discreet, less exuberant than his father, he shares with him the innate sense of sharing and loyalty.

In the Taittinger family, I ask for the father. Honorary President, Pierre-Emmanuel is the tutelary face, crowned with glory since he tore down his own House from the claws of the American fund Starwood Capital, which had taken it away from him one year earlier. It was in 2006 and this ultimate feat of arms marked the beginning of a new era. Damaged by internal dissent, the Taittinger family had exchanged its heritage (a pleiad of luxury hotels among which Le Lutétia, Le Crillon, Le Martinez, but also Baccarat and Annick Goutal perfumes) for cold hard cash: 2,4 billion euros divided between the 45 heirs. Saddened and reduced to being a spectator of his own ruin - « I lived it as a personal tragedy », he grants -, Pierre- Emmanuel Taittinger secretly put together a repurchase application and left to reconquer his own life story. He was called insane but "David" won, in spite of being surrounded by pretenders who were much stronger than him, supported by the regional bank Le Crédit Agricole and loyal wine-growers. This intuitive man embarked on the adventure in 1976 as a seller in Chamonix, always acting according to his heart. At the time, he was 23 years old and had enough determination to climb all of society’s ladders. Since then, the one who defines himself as a man of faith and duty, seems to be livened up by a visceral strength, protecting his House and perpetuating its values of honour, inheritance and loyalty : these are the cardinal points of this unique House, haunted by the poetic and conqueror spirits of its founders.

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