Dominique Demarville will leave Laurent-Perrier on 15 July, confirmed Arnaud Richard, the Champagne house’s director of marketing and communications.
He told Decanter.com via email that Demarville was departing by mutual agreement and for ‘personal reasons’. He added, ‘We respect personal decisions, so we won’t comment on them.’
Demarville joined Laurent-Perrier within the last year after spending a decade as chef de cave at Champagne house Veuve Clicquot.
At Veuve, and at Champagne Mumm before that, he built a reputation as one of the most respected winemakers in the region.
Demarville was set to take the reins at Laurent-Perrier from the house’s long-standing chef de cave, Michel Fauconnet, who was nearing retirement.
It is understood that the two winemakers were initially working side-by-side, as is traditional during the succession process at many Champagne houses.
Laurent-Perrier’s Richard indicated that Fauconnet would continue in the role for now. ‘Michel Fauconnet has never stopped being chef de cave during this [recent] period,’ he said.
Separately, Laurent-Perrier last week reported a 1.2% dip in Champagne sales for its latest fiscal year, which ran to 31 March 2020.
Champagne sales were €231.3m, versus €234.1m in the previous year, although net profits rose by 2.6% to €23.8m and the family-controlled group boosted its operating cash flow.