EPERNAY, France & WOODINVILLE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced today that the Woodinville, Washington-based company will become the Champagne brand’s exclusive U.S. importer.
Nicolas Feuillatte, the No. 1 selling Champagne brand in France and No. 3 at the international level, is recognized for its quality Champagne wines and its innovative, imaginative and artistic spirit.
Dominique Pierre, Managing Director for Nicolas Feuillatte, said the partnership with Ste. Michelle reinforces the company’s U.S. growth strategy.
“We chose Ste. Michelle Wine Estates because the company has the team in place and marketplace experience to grow Nicolas Feuillatte’s share of the U.S. Champagne market,” Pierre said. “Nicolas Feuillatte is still a young brand, and I strongly believe it has a lot of potential for expansion in the USA. Our champagnes offer the widest range of tastes and are already well appreciated by an ever more discerning American consumer.”
Ste. Michelle is the fastest growing premium wine company in the United States, and ranks No. 7 in Wine Business Monthly’s annual industry ranking. The company has also built a successful import business by representing Italy’s Antinori portfolio.
“Additionally, we believe the synergies between the two companies—innovators in our respective regions, our long-standing commitments to quality wine production and grape growing and our recognized brand development leadership—are an ideal foundation for our new partnership,” Pierre said. "St Michelle and Feuillatte have many values in common."
Nicolas Feuillatte’s acclaimed Champagne wines are produced following total quality practices, including sustainable vineyard and winery practices, and it is the first Champagne producer to have been accredited by the international organization for standardization with ISO certification.
Ste. Michelle is among the most prestigious wine [companies] in the U.S. with Washington State wineries that include Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest, Erath winery in Oregon and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in California.
Ste. Michelle President Ted Baseler considers the deal an excellent addition to the company’s ‘string of pearls’ business strategy.
“We’re looking at the best opportunities that fill a category niche in our portfolio and that support our philosophy of an innovative approach to quality grape growing and winemaking,” Baseler said. “We have a place in our portfolio for fine quality Champagne wines, and we believe Nicolas Feuillatte has a great future in the U.S.”
Nicolas Feuillatte sources grapes in 13 of the 17 Grand Cru vineyards, 33 of the 42 Premier Cru sites and in 235 Cru vineyards out of a possible 321. The planting is typical of the region, with three classic Champagne grape varieties cultivated: 25% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Meunier.
The portfolio features several acclaimed vintage and non-vintage Champagne wines, and most particularly the Cuvée Prestige Palmes d’Or Champagne! which is created only in the vintages deemed worthy by the Cellar Master.
About Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
In 1986, the Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte took ownership of the Nicolas Feuillatte brand.
Twenty years later, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte now ranks as the top champagne brand in France and has an international presence in more than 90 countries. With the support of its 5,000 wine growers, the Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte benefits from an extensive and rich supply of quality grapes, representing 7% of the Champagne wines produced.
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has a wide range of Champagne wines. Beyond its classic Champagnes (Brut non vintage, Brut Vintage, Rosé), the collection of Grands Crus Vintage, Cuvée 225, and the prestige cuvée Palmes d’Or Champagne! have contributed to Nicolas Feuillatte becoming a recognized choice in top restaurants, luxury hotels and trendy venues.
About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the fastest growing premium wine [company] in the U.S. Based in Washington State, the company has 3,500 acres of vineyards, and vineyard and winery holdings in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and in Napa Valley, California. Ste. Michelle has pioneered the Washington wine industry since it was established in 1934, and today the company’s portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Domaine Ste. Michelle, Snoqualmie, Northstar, Col Solare, and Spring Valley Vineyard in Washington; Erath in Oregon; and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Conn Creek, and Villa Mt. Eden in Napa. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is also the exclusive importer of Antinori wines in the United States.