Herve Augustin has resigned from his post as president of Champagne Ayala and will leave the company at the end of September.
Herve Augustin has been credited with restoring the image of Ayala (Photo: Giles Fallowfield)
Augustin has recently overseen a restoration of Ayala’s fortunes and of the image of the brand, which had fallen into decline in the 1990s, leading the house to its best financial performance in many years in 2011.
He was appointed by former Bollinger president Ghislain de Montgolfier – now joint president of the CIVC (Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne) – when Bollinger’s holding company, Societe Jacques Bollinger (SJB), purchased Ayala from Belgian financier Jean-Jacques Frey in January 2005.
SJB has now appointed Hadrien Mouflard, currently an administrator at Bollinger, as the new managing director of Ayala from October 1.
Mouflard will report direct to Bollinger president Jerome Philipon and there are plans for the two houses to work more closely together in future – a move which could signal a major change in the Ayala strategy.
Augustin, 62, began his 37-year career in Champagne at Laurent-Perrier under the tutelage of his uncle, Bernard de Nonancourt.
His Ayala strategy was built around emphasising the quality of its wines by launching a Brut Nature Zero Dosage version of Ayala’s non-vintage Brut Majeur to draw attention to the quality and purity of the latter.
Dosage levels were cut back significantly in the other regular cuvees too.
Augustin followed this with the launch of a Rose Nature and a non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee Perle, all well received.
In an effort to further distinguish the brand from its illustrious neighbour in Ay, he also introduced disgorgement dates on all the range, something still relatively unusual today.
Written by Giles Fallowfield