Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger ‘hands over the reins’

The Taittinger Champagne president has said he is handing over the role to his daughter, Vitalie, as part of the generational shift at the house.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger has called time on an era after announcing that his daughter, Vitalie Taittinger, will replace him as president of the Champagne house from 1 January 2020.

Pierre-Emmanuel, 66, has been particularly instrumental in developing Taittinger since embarking on a ‘personal quest’ by buying back control of the house in 2006 with the help of Credit Agricole bank.

His son, Clovis, will become general manager of the house as part of the generational handover.

The current holder of that role, Damien le Sueur, will stay on at the house to advise and ensure ‘co-ordination between vineyards [and] supplies, and production, business and finance departments’, said the group.

‘Clovis Taittinger will be in charge of the sales and marketing department,’ it said.

Pierre-Emmanuel, who once told Decanter he would have been ‘a poet or an artist’ if not making Champagne, said, ‘I have dedicated more than 45 years of my life to Champagne and the house that bears our name and our history. These last 13 years have undoubtedly been the most effervescent, the most exhilarating of my career at Taittinger.’

He has previously intimated that he intended to stop running the house in his mid-60s.

He added this week, ‘I can hand over the reins, secure in a sense of accomplishment: a passionate team in whom I have complete confidence, very fine wines, a large and growing number of fans of our brand in more than 140 countries around the world.’

Vitalie Taiitinger, 40, has been working at the house for 12 years and is currently director of marketing and communication.

She said she was ‘honoured’ to become president and praised her father’s passion and commitment.

‘We owe him the independence so fundamental to the identity of our house.’

Beyond Champagne, one of the new team’s projects will be to oversee the production of English sparkling wine under the Domaine Evremond label.

Pierre-Emmanuel joined forces with the house’s sole UK agent, Hatch Mansfield, and other partners to buy vineyard land in Kent. Vines were planted in 2017.