Hollywood celebrated the 35th anniversary of French champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Tuesday night at the John Lautner-designed home of Jimmy Goldstein up in Benedict Canyon. With an anniversary party in Paris held in June and a New York event scheduled for November, it was Los Angeles' turn to be the center of the hubub-bubbly this week as Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne hosted the City of Angels' most influential in art, food and fashion.
America is an important market for Nicolas Feuillatte, where it sits in fifth position, behind Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Perrier Jouet and Piper Heidsieck. But on Tuesday night, it was clearly the number one brand among the evening's crowd.
Take a look at the slideshow below of pictures from the evening:
In honor of the 35th anniversary this year, I had a chance to visit The Centre Vinicole -- Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte -- a cooperative facility located in the Champagne region of France, Epernay. Eighty-two out of the 140 cooperatives in Champagne belong to the CV-CNF. That includes over 5,000 growers, which encompasses 78,000 acres, which is about 7 percent of the legally designated grape growing area.
This cooperative facility has done wonders for the Champagne region of France. The system allows growers to have an outlet for their grapes without being responsible for marketing and distribution of the champagne. It also enables them to actively participate in the creation of the brand, but stay focused on what they do best -- growing the highest quality grapes possible.
Always demanding the best of the best, the grapes used to make Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne come from 13 of the 17 Grand Cru vineyards; 33 of the 42 Premier Cru; and 235 of the other Cru vineyards, out of a total of 321. This high quality no doubt accounts for the staggering sales that make Nicolas Feuillatte one of the top 5 brands of champagne in the world -- and that wealth is redistributed right back to the local growing community.
The connection to its growers is paramount for Nicolas Feuillatte, as those grapes represent the brand, which means the company does everything it can give support and advice to them. Things like seminars and training sessions as well as information on things like how to use the least of amount of toxicity on the vines and prevent soil erosion are just some examples of what the company offers.
Take a look at the slideshow below and see the Champagne region of France, the CV-CNF facility in Epernay and the harvesting of grapes that occurred in August:
Nicholas Feuillatte is not just focused on creating a shared system that benefits both the brand and grower, or creating the highest quality of champagne -- although if it were to stop there, that would be pretty impressive in itself.
The champagne company goes one step further by taking the environment in to consideration by using 100 percent green electricity. Additionally 100 percent of waste at CV-CNF is recycled and it employs reusable and returnable containers. Over the years, Nicolas Feuillatte has made its bottles lighter, and reduced the volume of packaging that's made from polypropylene by 72 percent in just three years. Even corks are recycled -- transported to the Diakonie Cork Centre in Germany.
By using self-timers, automatic power-down devices and solar panels among other things, the plant has reduced its electrical consumption by 9 percent between 2001 and 2008. Drivers are even schooled in eco-driving to save fuel. Most impressive, however, is the fact that the CV-CNF now uses the same amount of water in a day as it used in an hour in 1999!
Four years ago CV-CNF was granted the ISO 22000 certification, a seal of approval in regards to food safety management given out by the International Organization for Standardization. It was the first Champagne company to earn this.
Take a tour of the inside of the Epernay facility in the below slideshow:
For more information on the actual man who created the brand, Nicolas Feuillatte himself, and photos from the 35th anniversary party in Paris, click here to read Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Celebrates 35 Years - Part 1.