Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Interview with Pierre Bollet, Brand Manager Chamarré

Tell us a little about the history of Chamarré.

Chamarré’s history is a series of firsts. First company putting together the production capacity of 13,000 winegrowers in all main wine regions in France, first association of growers to become public (Paris Stock Exchange), first company to bring to the market the new appellation “ Vins de Pays Vignobles de France”.

To understand the reasons that lead Pascal Renaudat to create Chamarré, we have to look at the world wine market. In a word, France could sell much more wine than it currently does. The reasons for this underperformance? French Wines are seen as too complex, difficult to choose for the non-connoisseur, which means for 9 wine-drinkers out of 10.

Pascal Renaudat achieved this tour de force in 2006 when he convinced 13,000 winegrowers throughout France to start working together on Chamarré. Many entrepreneurs had failed making winegrowers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Languedoc work together. Pride and unconditional attachment to traditions made it nearly impossible. If somebody could achieve it, it was certainly not a winegrower. That is the main reason why Pascal Renaudat, a wine import-export expert but not a winegrower himself, managed to create this large association from all around France.

In a world where there are so many good French wines to choose from, what makes the Chamarré concept so unique?

Chamarré is the only wine that combines the quality, freshness and complexity of prestigious northern wine regions like Burgundy, Loire or Bordeaux, with the fruit-forward, approachable style from the South: Languedoc, Corsica, South-West. The result: wines that show a yummy acidity, a subtle combination of complexity and fruit, of freshness and approachability.

Chamarré is also a guarantee that you will not have bad surprises from vintage to vintage. By adapting our blends according to the summer we have in France, Renaud Rosari, our Master Winemaker, is able to maintain a consistency in the style and in the price, which estate wines cannot achieve.

Why did Chamarré choose the wines that it did for the American market?

Chamarré is currently sold in Europe, Asia, and North America. The taste of consumers varies greatly in such different countries and cultures. Chamarré adapts to each market with wines that fit the palate-style of each country. For example the Grande Réserve line has been designed for America, because wine consumption is strongly driven by the grape varietal. Chamarré is focusing on this line in the US, because they are 100% single varietal. We have already many fans of our Grande Réserve Pinot Noir for example. In France, consumption by the region is more important, and we have permanent listing of Chamarré Bordeaux and Chamarré Jurançon in Monoprix, a leading national gourmet supermarket chain.

What is the best part of your job? ... and the worst?

Let’s start with the worst! What I really dislike is when somebody tells me that French wines are either too expensive or to complicated, so they don’t even want to look at Chamarré. Yes, we can produce great wines at everyday price in France!

The best part is when I see the brand growing everyday. Creating a brand demands a lot of hard work and perseverance, but the pleasure of seeing new Chamarré consumers every day is just as rewarding as the job is tough! This is my first job, I am very proud to be a part of this fantastic project.

Describe your perfect meal and the wines you'd pair with it?

To get along with the heat of the summer, I recommend a Mediterranean pasta salad, with penne, cherry tomatoes, olives, peppers, parmigiano cheese and olive oil. A light Chardonnay, not overly oaked and slighty fruit-forward is a perfect pairing to that… try the Chamarré Grande Réserve Chardonnay!

As a dessert, why not putting together a tropical fruit salad with mango, pineapple, peaches and pears, and sipping a Chamarré Jurançon? I tried this one more than once, the mango and pineapple taste in the Jurançon are magnified, it is amazing!

What's next on the horizon?

Chamarré will continue its series of firsts, by launching a type of wine that has never been introduced before! To be unveiled in a couple of months, this release will show how Chamarré is always coming up with innovation, once again! Let’s talk about it in a couple of months…

(About Pierre)
After graduating from a Master’s in Marketing at EDHEC Business School in Lille, France, I knew I wanted to work the Wine Business. I discovered the wine industry during my gap year, where I worked for Champagne Veuve Clicquot and for Nicolas, a wine-store chain in France. As I kept informed about the wine industry, I heard about Chamarré, which had just been created. Chamarré offered me a position in NYC, a great challenge, and a very high quality team, it was perfect for me!

No comments: