We were lucky enough to catch up with Floriane on her recent trip to the UK for an interview for the June issue of our Tesco Wine Magazine. We took the opportunity to ask some more questions, giving our Community a real insight into what’s all in a day’s work for Floriane.
How did your career in Champagne come about?
From a small age, my father – who made wine himself with friends - would give me glasses of wine to try, I had to guess what they were, what the vintage was! Actually, I wanted to be a vet at first, then I nearly became a fighter pilot. But, in the end, a lifetime passion for wine took me to study winemaking in Reims (Champagne’s main city). I was lucky enough to have a passion, and be surrounded by people who encouraged me to follow that passion.
When did you join Jacquart?
I joined last year, having worked at another Champagne producer, Veuve Clicquot, for four years. My role extends well beyond that of winemaker; I spend as much time as I can out in the vineyards with the growers (we work with more than 1800 different growers) and do the same with the cellar masters. I work with a great team of winemakers and mentors with years of experience. My aim is to stay curious, to be always be learning.
What is the key ingredient for Jacquart Champagne?
Chardonnay is our key ingredient; we call it the ‘soul of Jacquart’. We blend it with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and might use up to 200 wines in the final blend. We’re looking for structure from the Pinot Noir, but not too overpowering. Chardonnay is more for freshness and elegance. But, different grapes from different areas will all bring something unique to each wine. Together with my team of winemakers, we’ll taste over 1000 different wines to get the blend exactly as it should be. It takes over two months to do that particular task.
Why did you take Champagne over wine?
For me, I think about Champagne as a wine, it should be treated as a wine. Champagne should provide a moment of indulgence, and at Jacquart we like to really experiment when it comes to matching our wines with different foods.
Give us some examples to try…
Well, the Rose is a real surprise. Put it with Thai food or soft cheese, like goats cheese. It really is perfect. The Blanc de Blancs is divine with crème brule, too. And Champagne isn’t just for fine foods, it can be just as good with pork scratchings! Tapas dishes are another brilliant way to enjoy Champagne with food.