CellarVie Wines meets…Taittinger winemaker Loïc Dupont





Ahead of CellarVie Wines’ focus on Champagne, we stole a precious moment with Taittinger winemaker Loïc Dupont, to discuss his passionate winemaking philosophy and to gain an insight into his crucial role as the guardian of Taittinger’s world renowned reputation, style and elegance.

Describe yourself and your attitude to winemaking in three words…

Passionate in what I do, understanding of the process and discrete


Briefly describe your wines…

Delicate, Graceful , Elegant


Describe the Taittinger philosophy and your approach to winemaking…

I try to be the guardian of the Taittinger style and reputation, ensuring it reflects the hallmarks of their style, elegance, delicacy and finesse.

My philosophy is to be faithful to this style and each wine is a benchmark for that type of cuvee be it the signature cuvée, the prestige cuvée or a single vintage or vineyard wine.

I believe there are three elements to good wine: good grapes, good architects and good time.

There is a principle of no oak on our wines at Taittinger – we want to make natural, fresh, light wines with natural energy and ripeness. Although there are a couple of exceptions with Folies de la Marquetterie and Comtes de Champagne where a touch of oak is used for some extra weight, the principle of elegance and finesse remains.


What wines are Taittinger responsible for making?

I’m the Chef des Caves and oversees the winemaking for all the Taittinger cuvées from their signature cuvée Taittinger Brut Réserve NV to their top prestige cuvee Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.


How did you get involved in the winemaking world?

I am a Reims man through and through. I went to school in Reims and
achieved my Baccalauréat in science in 1974. After military service in the Air Force, I returned in 1975 and enrolled in the College of Science at Reims University where I studied oenology.

Three years later I received my National Diploma in Oenology.

In 1978 I started my first job in the wine industry as a production manager at the sparkling wine factory, Saint BUR in Voulpaix in Picardy, Northern France. In 1979 I moved to Abidjan on the Ivory Coast where I managed the sparkling wine facility at Sicodis (Castel Frères Group).

Towards the beginning of 1984, I returned to France and joined Champagne Taittinger in Reims as an oenologist and took over quality control in 1985.

From 1987 to 1992, I actively contributed to the launch of Domaine Carneros, the winery created by Champagne Taittinger and Kobrand in the Napa Valley in California, as oenological advisor.

Today I oversee all the winemaking at Taittinger and consider myself the guardian of their consistent quality and style.
 
 

What are your main passions outside of wine?

Cycling, motorcycling and my family


If you didn't make wine what would you do?

I love manual work and I’m rather scientific in spirit, I like to understand how things work, and therefore I would have loved to have done something related to mechanics, probably a car mechanic.


What is your favourite meal?

It is hard to answer this question, it would be like asking ‘what is my favourite wine!’ but I love pastries, and certainly one of my favourite meals is grilled sea bass with a sorrel sauce.


Where is your favourite place in your vineyard to sit down quietly with a glass of wine?

A spot close to the Château de la Marquetterie where we have a view on different vineyards: Pierry sector, the castel, l’Eglise de Chavaux & the beginning of la Côte des Blancs.
 



What kind of events does the vineyard get up to over the Christmas period and the rest of the year?

There are no special events at Christmas. The main annual events are the following:
22 January - during the Saint Vincent
23 June - during the Saint-Jean Fires
During the harvest which ends with a dinner called the “cochelet”.


Describe a day in the life of Loïc Dupont…

An average day starts at 7am, when the people who work in the cellars begin their work. The day has many aspects: work planning and organization, and control of the services supervised (the vat-house, the cellar & the disgorgement) along with constant contact with people in charge of the other key services (vineyards, marketing, production etc). There is also a lot of administerial duties to do such as emailing, invoicing and other tasks.

Usually at around 11am tastings are organized. At the beginning of December we taste “clear wines” to evaluate which blend will go in to making each cuvée. Blending tests then follow which tend to be closely linked to the oenologist part of my work.

I usually have a quick lunch with the team. It is an important moment and they try not to discuss too much work so to clear their minds and relax a little before the working day finishes around 6pm. Then I go back home to spend the evening with his wife.

To conclude I would say that my day passes really quickly and although many people tell me I am a lucky man because of my extremely interesting work, which is of course true, I would say in return, that I have to deal with lots of administrative work, which cannot be avoided.
 
To view our Taittinger champagnes click here



 
Dating back to 1734 when the original house was founded by Jacques Fourneaux, the Taittinger link was established in 1931 and remains one of the few Champagne Houses that is still owned and actively managed by the family named on the label. As a result Taittinger is a Champagne house that cares passionately about quality. The hallmark of their wines is the high percentage of Chardonnay used in the blend which provides wines of delicacy, elegance and finesse, which are the key fundamentals of their winemaking philosophy. 
 
 
 



 

16.09.15

BBQ Spatchcock Piri-Piri Chicken


Summer has come to a close and autumn is well and truly on its way. Blustering winds, cooler temperatures and swiftly shortening days mean it will soon be time to wrap up warm and to make the most of the wonderful autumn produce on offer. Time to say goodbye to those fresh, summer whites and replace them with the warmer, more robust reds frequently associated with colder temperatures.
26.08.15

What to drink with Fish Pie?


Fish Pie is a quintessentially British recipe. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, it is also a great dinner party dish - with a limited amount of last minute preparations needed it’s a winner in my book! However, where do you start when matching a fish pie with wine?
24.07.15

Five Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew


For that moment when you find yourself without a corkscrew and unable to open that bottle of wine; here are five ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. Obviously, if you do have a corkscrew to hand, it is a lot easier to go down the more traditional route…



20.09.13

Five minutes with…The Good Cook Simon Hopkinson

CellarVie Wines grabbed a few precious moments with food writer, critic and chef extraordinaire Simon Hopkinson... read more


09.08.12

CellarVie Wines meets…Don Jacobo winemaker Javier Martinez

Ahead of our brand feature on Don Jacobo, one of Rioja’s finest boutique wine producers in the heart of Navarrete, CellarVie Wines caught up with Javier Martinez; the gregarious winemaker and director of the award winning winery to ... read more


05.07.12

CellarVie Wines meets…González Byass' Master Blender Antonio Flores Pedregosa

Antonio Flores Pedregosa is one of the Sherry industry’s most revered blenders and having lived and breathed Tio Pepe from the moment he was born in Gonzalez Byass’ iconic bodega in Jerez de la Frontera in 1955; he is certainly one of ... read more


27.06.12

My Perfect Dinner Party: Nederburg winemaker Razvan Macici

Following our recent interview with Nederburg winemaker Razvan Macici, CellarVie Wines pressed the jovial Romanian and current star of South African Master Chef to reveal his hypothetical perfect dinner party, complete with three guests ... read more


25.06.12

My Perfect Dinner Party: The Fladgate Partnership's Adrian Bridge

“I think the point about a good dinner party is that you want to bring together interesting people and you want to have good conversation.” The CEO of The Fladgate Partnership Adrian Bridge told CellarVie Wines when pressed to reveal his ... read more


21.06.12

The Tailor Made Wine Buyer Guide

There are a host of wine buyer guides across the web that often tell you what you should and shouldn’t be drinking – but how do these guides know what type of wine suits you and your palate? Sure, they are extremely helpful if you are ... read more


21.06.12

CellarVie Wines meets…Viña Cono Sur Chief Winemaker Adolfo Hurtado

Some winemakers are sententious about their profession; others are prone to aggrandizing loquaciously about the traditions of terroir and the nuisances of tannins. Viña Cono Sur’s Chief Winemaker, Adolfo Hurtado, is neither of those ... read more


20.06.12

CellarVie Wines meets…Nederburg cellarmaster Razvan Macici

Razvan Macici has been the Nederburg cellarmaster since 2001 and he is not only a bundle of affable energy and a pleasure to interview, but he is also the man responsible for restoring the prize-winning traditions of one of South ... read more


26.04.12

Harvey Nichols launches Champagne flavoured Lollipop

Upmarket department store Harvey Nichols has launched a luxury Champagne flavoured Lollipop containing gold flakes.   read more


11.04.12

Recipe: Pan-fried sea bass with stir-fried cabbage

Sea Bass is popular, versatile and often referred to as the fish equivalent of chicken breasts due to its nice texture and beautiful flavour. It is also one of Taittinger winemaker Loïc Dupont’s favourite meals and following this ... read more


10.04.12

Champagne: Food and wine of the region

Britain has an insatiable appetite for Champagne; in fact we are the region’s premier export market. We love it, especially as an aperitif or as part of a celebration and whilst the French enjoy this bubbly beverage in the same way, in ... read more


10.04.12

How to woo with bubbles: Champagne, Cava and Prosecco

A notoriously diminutive former Emperor of France once remarked that, “In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it” and while his insatiable appetite for bubbly was the stuff of legend, why shouldn’t we all embrace Napoleon ... read more


10.04.12

Champagne: The region and places of interest

The most northern Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée area in France, Champagne lies 90 miles east of Paris and is a historic province best known for the production of sparkling white wine, that bears the region’s name exclusively and by EU ... read more


26.03.12

CellarVie Wines meets…Winemaker Jean-Luc Colombo

In light of our focus on Rhône, CellarVie Wines interviewed the charismatic and colourful winemaker Jean-Luc Colombo, in order to discuss the winemaking philosophy behind his award winning wines, the beauty of his vineyards and the ... read more


13.03.12

CellarVie Wines meets…CVNE winemaker Maria Larrea

Ahead of our focus on Rioja, CellarVie Wines interviewed CVNE (Cune) winemaker Maria Larrea to discuss her winemaking philosophy, her experiences in the industry, and her passions outside of wine…    read more


29.02.12

CellarVie Wines meets…Vidal winemaker Hugh Crichton

In line with our focus on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, CellarVie Wines caught up with Vidal winemaker Hugh Crichton to discuss his winemaking philosophy.  read more



Post a comment...