A day with Thomas Lombard

A mischievous smile, smart-looking shirt and a head full of great plans for his Champagne House... there is no mistaking who we are meeting this time: we have a date with Thomas Lombard.

Thomas is an iron fist in a velvet glove. At only 28, he is the youngest general manager of a Champagne House. Or "Maison Vigneronne" we should say! Who would have thought that behind this young businessman hides a talented guitarist with a slightly piquant sense of humour?

We spent a day with him as he went about his daily business. Today, we are taking you to meet this unusual personality with boundless ambition. Hang on to your hat!

Established in Épernay in 1925, the family-owned Champagne House had seen several generations of Lombards before Thomas, who has just graduated from AgroSup Dijon, joined it in 2017.

The minute he arrived, he started executing a take-over plan that reflected his personal philosophy and convictions: to make Champagne Lombard a "Maison Vigneronne" in which the terroir, and those who seek to bring it out and set it off, would have a central role.

If I had to sum up my job in a few words, I would say: observing, creating and sharing.

"Observing", because there is a great deal of observation of the terroirs involved. We really position ourselves as observers: we go to the vineyards, we look at the landforms, we look at the viticulture being practised, we observe and we take samples of the soil to analyse it. I often say that we "harvest" information from the terroir.

"Creating" means to create relationships with partner winegrowers or winegrowers who are not necessarily partners. It also means creating relationships with sommeliers, wine store managers and all those involved in the wine trade. This interaction allows us to understand each other's relationship with wine.

And lastly, "sharing": I really enjoy communicating what I learn about the terroirs and wine to the inquisitive and avid wine lovers who want to learn more about the Champagne region.
Thomas Lombard
CEO of Champagne Lombard

This is how Thomas' adventure began. Determined to produce the best champagne possible, he builds strong relationships with his partner winegrowers and sources his grapes from the greatest Champagne grands crus. The challenge has been met: no less than 4 mono-cru and 5 lieu-dit wines have been created to complete the "Signature" and "Millésime" ranges.

For this day spent in his company, Thomas suggested we meet one of his partner winegrowers, Aurélien Giraud. It was time to pull on our boots and head to the Côtelette plot of vines in Aÿ.

Gone are the shirts and the city shoes. Thomas swaps his general manager's garb to go and study the terroir of this plot as closely as he can, with his feet in the earth. Yes, running a "Maison Vigneronne" also means being out in the vineyards!

We leave Aurélien and head off to a place Thomas loves: the Belvédère Pierre Cheval in Épernay. 360° view, sushi and champagne: the team really went out of their way to please us! It was a simple, friendly and convivial experience and a great way to get to know Thomas’ Brut Nature champagnes.

For Thomas, the Brut Nature is an institution. Working hand in glove with Laurent Vaillant, the Champagne House's cellar master, he seeks to reveal the terroir in his fine, well-honed and aromatic wines.

There is no doubt that Thomas' adventure is only just beginning. We at Grappers will be closely following his rise and we hope - one day perhaps - that he will get out his guitar and have us taste his champagnes to the sound of music!

Champagne Lombard
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