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Dec 12, 2022

Behind The Label With Champagne Co-Founder Fiona Perrin

Lets face it, bringing a host/ess gift or planning the perfect beverage compliment to your holiday dinner can be pretty nerve wracking. That is why we sat down to chat with Fiona Perrin all about her Champagne brand, Rendez-Vous, a no-brainer addition to any dinner party or host gift.

Image Courtesy of Fiona Perrin

PPLA: What made you decide to go into creating champagne?

FP: After spending 8 years in the wine industry in the US, working the market through the whole
country, I saw a real lack in terms of artisanal and sustainable champagnes. With an industry
dominated by big brands, I had the impression customers were stuck with the same
commercial and mass produced brands everywhere. So we wanted to change that and offer
a better alternative no matter where you were in the US. After more than a year of
development, and many visits to different producers, in 2020, my partner and I launched our
Champagne brand, in partnership with an organic and natural grower champagne, to create
a brand through which we could translate our values and passion. We wanted to show our
respect and love for nature, that would be a trusted reference for people looking for
conscious artisanal champagne.

PPLA: What was your goal when creating Rendez-vous?

FP: We want to promote a better way of drinking champagne and be a trustworthy reference in
terms of natural champagne. Whether you are a champagne expert or novice, we want to
provide the insurance that when you see our label, you know that you will be drinking
accessible, high quality bubbles made in respect of nature and people. We also want people
to discover a new way to consume champagne, to experience something different than what
they have always been used to and be a conscious alternative to the usual commercial
brands. Our goal is to put in light the work of small grower producers that work hard to
provide a different vision of champagne. Our mission is also to democratize Champagne to
everyone, wherever you were from, and shun the elitist image champagne always had.
Ultimately, champagne is a wine to start with, and we want to promote this magical drink to
enjoy every little moment in life, not just reserved for special occasions.

PPLA: What sets your champagne apart from others?

FP: We are the first digital native champagne brand and we ship direct to consumer pretty much
all over the US and deliver right to your door!

Three cuvées are elaborated (Extra Brut, Brut and Rosé) with a hands-on approach to
environmentally friendly viticulture & cellar habitudes to ensure authenticity and quality.
Organic viticulture is relatively rare in Champagne. Less than 1% of all 16,000 Champagne
grape growers are certified organic, and Rendez-Vous Champagne partner with that 1%.
Why does it matter? The reason for this is simple: organic champagne not only tastes better,
but is better for you and for the environment.

In the vineyards, no chemical treatments are used, no pesticides, no herbicides, no
fungicides. The ultimate goal is to put back life in the soils. In the cellar this is where the
work is getting close to what we find in natural wines. No chemical additives, minimal
manipulation for the wine to preserve all it’s natural expression, no filtration to keep
maximum micro organisme to enhance the wine’s complexity, no use of animal products
which is well suited for vegans.

PPLA: Did you find it challenging or welcoming to be a woman creating a new champagne brand?

Women, especially young women, in the wine industry are still often considered as inferior,
with less knowledge or experience than their male counterpart. I felt this many times
through my carrier and I definitely had to prove my worth through all the years. But at the
same time my experience in a male dominated industry was also a success for me. I had the
support of many men with high positions that helped me a lot to evolve, a few that I have
called my mentors or models to follow that helped me build ma career.
Today, 70% of Champagne is bought by women, but only 27% of wine estates in France are
managed by women so there is definitely still a long way to go! But I believe the most
challenging of all was the fact that we were not coming from the Champagne region. I am
not from the wine world originally, none of my family already had vineyards or connection in
this industry so I had to make myself from the start as well as all my network and
connections. Champagne is a very exclusive and close circle, its tough to enter this world
when you are a not a true “champenois”. So that was a risk we took from the beginning!
The risk was very big because it is a very competitive market dominated by major big brands
owned by big luxury groups that have financial and marketing power. Starting a new brand
no one knew about was very risky, everyone told us we were crazy, we had to make our
mark step by step and to be seen as a trusted reference in a new niche!

Image Provided Courtesy of Fiona Perrin

Well, we know what we’re drinking tonight. Celebrate women owning more business, especially in Champagne! How surising to discover women make up 70% of the purchasers, with only 27% in Champagnes management. Well, Rendez-Vous is changing that, you can buy your very own bottle (or 2) here.