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Champagne Thienot hatches wine tourism plan

Stanislas Thienot believes he has devised a way of raising the public profile of his family's namesake Champagne house without having to flog its wares in big supermarkets.

Stanislas Thienot. Image credit: Thienot

It’s a dilemma that many producers of even the finest wines will recognise. You sell your wines through restaurants and wine bars, so you don’t want them on the supermarket shelves.

It’s intensely annoying for consumers who have shelled out £90 for a bottle of Champagne in a restaurant the night before to see it the following day at a third of the price, while out shopping. But then, how do you create visibility and a profile for your brand?

Family Champagne house Thienot, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, has come up with what it believes is the perfect solution.

During a short visit to London, managing director Stanislas Thienot revealed that Thienot is about to start construction on a first for the Champagne region – a fine wine cellar and Champagne experience in Reims city centre, close to the cathedral.

Targeting the 1.5m tourists who visit the city each year, the cellar will be used to age vintage Champagnes (it will hold up to 1m bottles), but the key purpose is to build a affinity with the wine-loving public.

‘It’ll be more than a cellar tour,’ said Stanislas, who hopes that visitors will take their time, and taste the Thienot Champagnes afterwards in the wine bar. He says they’ve been inspired by the Napa Valley model, where tourism has been an important part of relationship building with wine lovers.

Due to open in 2016, Thienot hopes to be attracting 30,000 visitors a year after four or five years.

Written by Amy Wislocki

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