In a region known for the historic contributions of Lily Bollinger and The Widow Cliquot, there is a new generation of women looking to make their mark on Champagne. Where tradition is manifest and competition fierce, quality, cooperation, and diversity have brought these women of Champagne together to form LA Transmission.
Co-Founder, Anne Mallasagne (Champagne AR Lenoble) said she created the group with Maggie Henriquez (Krug) in order to “share the experience of women in the business.”
Women, as a rule, do not end up in the Champagne business by default; they must choose it, whether by obligation or vocation. This was as true for the Widow Cliquot as it is for these pioneers.
At first glance, the ten member panel has little in common when it comes to their wines. The group is comprised of small growers and large houses, old and new, young and old. Their wine styles range from opulent to austere. This is intentional. The group, as a whole, showcases the great differences in Champagne. They promote the diversity and quality of a region that is all too often obscured by marketing and ego.
What cannot be denied is the underlying quality represented by the members.
Members, pictured left to right: Alice Paillard (Champagne Bruno Paillard), Maggie Henriquez (Champagne Krug), Floriane Eznack (Champagne Jacquart), Delphine Cazals (Champagne Claude Cazals), Evelyne Boizel (Champagne Boizel), Chantal Gonet (Champagne Philippe Gonet), Anne Malassagne (Champagne AR Lenoble), Mélanie Tarlant (Champagne Tarlant), Vitalie Taittinger (Champagne Taittinger), Marie Gillet (Champagne Veuve Devaux).
Many of these women bring a different ethos to the business. They have lived and worked in other fields before coming back to the siren calls of family legacy and Champagne.
In talking with two of the members, this becomes clear. For years Mallasagne worked in the beauty industry, Taittinger; art. Both women bring this artistic and creative perspective to their current endeavors. The women of LA Transmission have instilled what they are and from where they come into their respective Champagnes.
“Champagne is an art, not an industry,” said Taittinger.
Taittinger elaborated, ”To be a woman in the wine industry is something that is useful…we bring different things…a different point of view. We feel a duty. Pride. Heritage.”
Each woman in LA Transmission brings a distinct area of expertise, background and a fresh perspective to the diverse collective.
According to Taittinger, big houses showcase different strengths than her grower cohorts. “Big houses: our power is in blending, we can express a story in our consistency.” The smaller houses focus on a different strength; showcasing the storied terroir unique to Champagne.
Taittinger does not see LA Transmission’s efforts at innovation as being in conflict with the tradition-steeped legacy of her forebears. “You cannot have innovation without tradition. You have to know from where you come in order to create things that are innovative,” said Taittinger.
In a unique move, the group does not seek to promote their individual wines or brands, though the quality across the board is superlative, even by the strict standards in Champagne. “It’s not a comparison, it’s a cooperation,” said Mallasagne. “We want to create a space for women in the industry.”
“We share tradition, value, quality, and story telling,” she continued.
LA Transmission was chosen as a title in order to transmit the essential diversity and quality of Champagne. This shared goal of promoting superlative quality and diversity within Champagne has brought the ladies of LA Transmission together to share their collective passion and to promote the region in new ways.
To that end they have planned workshops in Paris for 2017, to focus on wine pairings, service, and a master class. Future events will include a tasting tour of each domain in 2018.
“As long as you share the same values, it works,” said Mallasagne. “The differences make us stronger.”