L'esprit de la Maison
Quality and Innovation
Chanoine Frères has a rich heritage of three centuries of expertise, built by six generations of adventurous merchants who form a major Champagne dynasty, the Chanoine family, and then by their successors, who are driven by the same vision: A demand for quality and a taste for innovation.
Appointed Head Wine-Maker of the House of Chanoine Freres in 2001, Isabelle Tellier is one of the first women ever to hold that position in a Champagne house. Her entire professional career, which began in 1992, has been made in the Champagne world. Her experience in creating Champagne wines and her expertise are considerable.
As guarantor of the quality and style of all the House’s wines, she is responsible for formulating the Chanoine and Tsarine cuvées and manages all phases: selection of the grapes at harvest, tasting the vins clairs, assembling the crus and the grape varieties, fermentation, ageing, etc.
Isabelle Tellier, a passionate and genuine woman, is the creator of Tsarine Rosé, Tzarina, Chanoine Blanc de Blancs, the Chanoine Frères Réserve Privée brut and rosé lines, and the new Orium cuvée from Tsarine.
A graduate enologist of the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, Isabelle is a member of the Association Amicale des Chefs de Cave de Champagne (AACCC).
An inspired creator of new “cuvées”, this noble lady of Champagne has received more than 60 distinctions, each of them a mark of her talent, her uncompromising demand for quality, and her pioneering spirit.
Sharing and passing on
“Sharing is the reason the House of Chanoine Frères exists. Making the pleasures of Champagne known, from generation to generation. Chanoine Frères Champagnes are essentially wines meant to be shared.”
“Sharing our culture and our love of Champagne is natural for a house like ours, with its three centuries of history. Chanoine Frères is proud of that heritage, which draws its strength from the values and the character that have been handed down by its founders and their successors.”
President CEO of Champagne Chanoine Frères
“Since 1730, Chanoine Frères has been a great Champagne house, a pioneer and a visionary. Its vocation is to continue to have influence by cultivating its expertise: Formulating quality Champagnes, remaining true to its heritage by showing creativity and audacity.”
“The ambition of the House of Chanoine Freres is to win over an ever-greater public, in France and around the world, with its Chanoine and Tsarine cuvées.”
At Chanoine Frères, the role each person plays is very important. Our people are artisans of quality. Creating the different Chanoine and Tsarine cuvées requires unwavering attention to all details, at each stage of the winemaking process, from assembly, ageing, and bottling to packaging, labeling and shipping.
Our people are professionals with talent and taste who share a love of a job well done and the pride of making our House’s champagnes in its cellars on the Allée du Vignoble in Reims. They perpetuate the heritage of know-how and tradition that the House of Chanoine Frères has cultivated and enriched since its founding in 1730.
Nicolas is a perfectionist whose task is to put together the blends designed by the Head Wine-Maker in the vat-room. Each of the House’s champagnes is the fruit of a specific blend or assemblage.
“My job is fascinating because each year is different. It’s very precise work. To me the vat-room is like a forest, a beautiful, quiet place with its orderly rows of vats where our wines age. It’s pretty athletic — I cover several kilometers from one end to the other.”
Mathilde is young, but highly experienced; she makes the liqueurs de tirage that will help create the bubbles in the House’s champagnes and bring out their organoleptic qualities.
“I prepare the wines before they’re bottled. I observe, I feel, I make constant checks to monitor the wine, which is a living product. Wine does need to be left alone, but at the same time it requires a lot of work.”
With an iron hand in a velvet glove, Didier supervises the stages of disgorgement, corking and wiring-on of the cork in the House’s bottles.
“With me things have to move: The work has to be done precisely, rapidly, and efficiently. After the final operations, I also handle the final inspection. The champagne is finished and ready to leave the House, and it has to be impeccable to be shipped to our customers.”
Meticulous and attentive to every detail, Daphnée “dresses” the bottles of champagne in the House’s job shop.
“I take care of the prestige cuvées and limited series that have a custom packaging. I make sure that the capsules, neck labels, and labels on our bottles are perfect. Nothing gets past me. I’ll admit it: I’ve become compulsive!”
Édouard, an experienced oenologist, is in charge of winemaking, assembling the blends, and bottling the cuvées. Precise and rigorous, he also happens to be an Epicurean who loves to cook and invent ways to marry fine food and Chanoine and Tsarine champagnes.
“In tasting the vins clairs and preparing the blends, I mobilize my memory and my experience of everything I’ve ever tasted. My job is to anticipate how the wines will evolve. All my senses are awake; I’m hyper-concentrated.”
Sylvie’s quick eyes oversee the quality of the packaging and labeling when the bottles are packed before being shipped to the four corners of the world. Those eyes are accurate to the millimeter.
“I’m like a haute-couture seamstress fitting an evening gown. The capsule, the neck band, the label… A bottle of champagne is like a dress — before going out, everything has to be perfect. If the slightest detail is off, I pull the bottle and re-dress it by hand.”
Vincent is the methodical and meticulous person in charge of sanitizing the machines used for disgorging, corking, wiring, labeling, etc. The work he does every day is essential for ensuring adherence to hygiene and food safety standards.
“I work in the evening, after the lines have been stopped and taken apart. Everything is quiet. I clean, rub, and scrape. The machines have to be spotless for the next day’s production. I guess you could call me Mr. Clean!”
Authority is not simply a matter of age. Manon, a young QHSE manager, quickly had the employees’ safety well in hand. With her smiling yet determined demeanor, she sees to it that resources are in place and that rules are obeyed.
“I jumped right into the deep end! With COVID, I was put in charge of putting the protective measures in place and procuring the equipment we needed.
By 7:30 a. m. everyday, everything’s ready for the arrival of the production people.”
Both fast-moving and careful, Emmanuel prepares the House’s shipments. On his lift truck, he assembles the orders and loads the pallets on the delivery trucks. It’s a job that demands skill and dexterity.
“I like being active all the time, keeping the pace — like in a cross-country race. The whole inventory is in my head; I know where everything is and I check every order. The right cases need to end up on the right trucks!”
Stéphanie — a woman with ideas, intuitive and curious — is the House’s director of Marketing. One of her key tasks is to develop the custom packaging for the Tsarine and Chanoine cuvées and limited series. With her demanding esthetic sense and sensitivity to shapes and colors, she never fails to find ways of embellishing the House’s bottles and packaging.
“I believe the pleasure of champagne has to be total — in what’s in the bottle and also in the way it looks. My job is to invent packaging that can reveal the spirit of our cuvées and make them look even more beautiful.”