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Isabelle Tellier, Chef de Cave and Inspired Creator

Reims, 8 March 2023

The House of Chanoine Frères is observing Women’s Day this year by saluting the talent and commitment of Isabelle Tellier, who has been our Chef de Cave for over twenty years.

Isabelle comments on Women’s Day…

Women have always been a strong and decisive presence in the history of champagne. Today they play a more and more important role in the champagne world and in Champagne itself, which is by far the most feminized vineyard in France.

As a woman I’ve never set up barriers for myself in my working life; that’s surely just a matter of personality and temperament. I don’t feel that there’s a specifically feminine way to make Champagne. Speaking for myself, I express my gustatory and sensory sensitivity, taking my own approach in creating blends, always with balance as the goal.

When I meet my confreres at the meetings of the Champagne Chefs de Cave Association, I notice that the women often share the same opinions. They’re pragmatic, direct, and effective; they often agree on the goal and go straight to it.

An inspired creator

Appointed Chef de Cave of Chanoine Frères 1730 in 2001, Isabelle is one of the first women ever to hold that job in a Champagne house.

Isabelle Tellier, who exudes authenticity and a passion for her work, develops all of Tsarine’s champagnes. She is the creator of Tsarine Rosé, Tsarine Orium, Tsarine Blanc de Blancs and, recently, Tsarine Solium, as well as the prestige cuvées Tsarine By Adriana, Tzarina, and Tzarina Rosé. Her first vintage for Tsarine was the highly regarded Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2003 cuvée.

A graduate oenologist of the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, Isabelle is a member of the Association Amicale des Chefs de Cave de Champagne (AACCC).

She is an inspired creator whose champagnes have received more than 240 distinctions in France and internationally — each a sign of recognition of her talent, her high standards, and her willingness to think “out of the box.”

Isabelle’s Champagnes

To get to know Isabelle better, listen as she talks about her profession and the Tsarine cuvées in the video series “Isabelle’s Champagnes.” In the films, made on the occasion of her 20th anniversary as the House’s Chef de Cave, Isabelle explains her approach to making champagne, her way: simple and direct and always precise.

“I see the profession of Chef de Cave as creative work, like creating a perfume that has to be one of a kind. […] It’s more than a profession; it’s a passion. And that passion drives me to find new inspirations, always to keep looking.

Isabelle is also passionate about food-and-wine pairings, and loves to work in the kitchen and find delicious associations with the cuvées she creates. In the film "My Gourmet Pairings” (length 1’08”), she tells us about a few of her favorite dishes to accompany Tsarine Rosé, Tsarine Cuvée Orium and Chanoine Frères Réserve Privée Brut.

The bubbles in champagne awaken the palate and increase the taste sensations when you eat. So a meal with champagne means increased pleasure […] My favorite pairings? It’s often simple things that are easy to prepare […] For me, champagne is first of all about giving pleasure to the people you love.

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