Piper-Heidsieck has appointed Émilien Boutillat to the role of chef de cave, taking over from Severine Frerson who recently departed for Perrier-Jouët to succeed retiring chef de cave, Hervé Deschamps.
Boutillat is young, globally experienced and credentialed as an oenologist and agricultural engineer. A born and bred Champenois, Boutillat graduated from SupAgro Montpellier in France and spent time in Chile, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa before returning to France. For the past five years he has headed-up the winemaking team at Cattier’s Armand de Brignac.
Boutillat steps into the position alongside esteemed chef de cave, Regis Camus, who takes on the company’s prestige cuvée, Rare, as a standalone brand.
Perrier-Jouët has announced a succession plan for current chef de cave, Hervé Deschamps, appointing rising star, Severine Frerson, to take over in a few years following a transition phase designed to preserve the quality and style of its champagnes.
Frerson is currently chef de cave of Piper-Heidsieck and was only recently appointed to the role following 16 years with the company, taking over from Regis Camus who now heads-up the brand’s prestige cuvée, Rare. She is one of only a handful of women to hold such a position in Champagne and will now become the first female chef de cave in the history of Perrier-Jouët and the eighth Cellar Master.
Frerson, a Champenois, studied oenology at the University of Reims before taking on roles at the Comité Champagne, Veuve Clicquot and Jacques Péters. In 2002, she joined Piper-Heidsieck and began working her way up, eventually earning the title of head winemaker.
“The history of Maison Perrier-Jouët is marked by Rose-Adélaïde Jouët, who founded the Maison with her husband Pierre-Nicolas Perrier in 1811. She was a woman of great character, determination and daring, just like Séverine Frerson, whose love of wine, focus on quality and attachment to the terroir are aligned with the philosophy of our Maison,” commented Christophe Danneaux, Champagne Vice President and Perrier-Jouët Business Director.
During VINE & BUBBLE Magazine’s recent tasting with Frerson in Reims, she presented finely honed skills in aromatics speaking of still wines in terms of personality, texture and consistency. Passion, she says, guides her way during the all-important assemblage process, followed by intuition and memory. She is, by all accounts, convincingly talented and authentic.
Outgoing Cellar Master, Hervé Deschamps, has been with the Maison for 35 years – arriving in 1983 – and became the seventh one since foundation over 200 years ago. As a guardian of Perrier-Jouët’s style, he has maintained the floral and intricate character of the Maison’s cuvées: the non-vintage range as well as the Belle Epoque vintage collection.
We wish Severine, Hervé Deschamps and Perrier-Jouët the very best for the future.