CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The iconic French Maison Perrier-Jouët, over its 200 years has had just seven cellar masters but this October, a historic announcement will see Séverine Frerson become the eighth cellar master – and the first woman to hold the position in the history of the House, which was famously founded from the union of Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët in 1811.
The transmission from one cellar master to the next is a key event for any champagne house, but for Maison Perrier-Jouët, and this October Séverine Frerson will become the eighth cellar master and the first woman to hold the position – in the history of the House, which was famously founded from the union of Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët in 1811.
Succeeding Hervé Deschamps, whose retirement brings to an end a transition period during which he and Séverine Frerson have worked side by side, welcoming wine critics, sommeliers and friends of the House, touring international markets, tasting the rare cuvées in the Oenothèque Perrier-Jouët, and blending the wines from the 2019 harvest, which promises to be an excellent year. Along with the historic cellar books containing the notes and observations of all his predecessors, and the key to the legendary Eden cellar, where the most precious vintages are kept, Hervé Deschamps will hand over to his successor the responsibility for perpetuating the unique intricate floral style of Maison Perrier-Jouët – and for taking it forward into the future.
As she steps into her new role, Séverine Frerson feels a special affinity with the cultured, spirited young woman from a family of Normandy merchants whose name is one half of Maison Perrier-Jouët. “Quite apart from the romance of her relationship with Pierre-Nicolas Perrier, I see Rose-Adélaïde Jouët as a woman of character and independence, just like I am,” she says. “When I was looking through the archives, I found that she took an active role in receiving visitors and presenting the House and its cuvées. She placed great importance on exchange and conviviality, which is exactly what I do myself. I would never, for example, taste wines on my own – it’s an experience I always want to share with others.”