Champagne house Perrier-Jouët has re-opened the Maison Belle Epoque after years of renovation – housing one of the largest private collections of French heritage Art Nouveau in Europe....
Inside the Perrier-Jouët Maison Belle Epoque
Around 150 guests were invited to celebrate the re-opening of the house in Epernay, Champagne, on 5 July.
The house has always been linked with the Art Nouveau movement, thanks to the founders, Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët, who both loved art and nature.
Art Nouveau pieces in the house include ones from painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, plus Hector Guimard – who designed the Paris Métro stations – and Emile Gallé, who designed the floral motif on the Belle Epoque bottles.
Some features of the house were completely renovated; it took 1,100 metres of fabric to restore the curtains, for example.
Members of the Perrier-Jouët team were keen to stress that the house is not meant to feel ‘like a museum’ and is to be enjoyed.
One non-Art Nouveau piece is Auguste Rodin’s L’Eternel Printemps, which was a gift to celebrate the first centenary of Perrier-Jouët, in 1911.
Pieces of modern art are included as well, inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, including an installation from mischer’traxler, originally commissioned for London Design Week by Perrier-Jouët.
In ‘Curiosity Cloud’, light bulbs hang from the ceiling, each with an insect inside. As someone approaches, the bulbs light up and the insects come to life.
Even the cellar includes a piece from Glithero, originally commissioned by Perrier-Jouët for the Design Miami festival. Called ‘Lost Time’, it mimics the shape of Champagne flutes and hangs over a shallow pool of water.
Over the Perrier-Jouët bar in the house is an installation from Japanese artist Ritsue Mishima, with discs of Venetian glass hanging from the ceiling, also commissioned by the Champagne house for Miami Design Week.
All’ombra della luce – or ‘In the shadow of the light’ – is inspired by the darkness of cellars contrasted against the brightness of the vineyards. The discs are also a nod to the bubbles in Champagne.
The Perrier-Jouët cellar
Maison Belle Epoque also leads to the Perrier-Jouët cellars, one of which is specifically for some of the oldest vintages.
There are two bottles of the Perrier-Jouët Sillery 1825 vintage, believed to be the oldest vintage Champagne left in the world.
It also contains the 1874 vintage Champagne, believed to be one of the most expensive bottles of Champagne from the 19th century, when sold at Christie’s in 1888.
Vintages as old as 1911 would likely still have a slight sparkle if opened today.
The Maison Belle Epoque will be available to exclusive guests to stay in and experience. Online virtual tours of the cellars can be found here.
Decanter.com was invited by Perrier-Jouët, owned by Pernod Ricard, to the re-opening of the Maison Belle Epoque.
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