The Drink Business entrevista a Stephen Leroux y habla sobre Champagne Charles Heidsieck, cómo ha sido rescatado casi del olvido …
fuente: drink business
While London sizzles in the summer heat. The air inside the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall is rarified. It’s late afternoon and the dining room is dotted with late lunchers and number crunchers. The two men at the table opposite eye up the three bottles of Champagne in front of me enviously.
I’m here to meet Stephen Leroux, executive director of Champagne Charles Heidsieck. Dressed in a black suit and no tie, with his sandy blond hair and boyish demeanor. He looks more British than French. His accent isn’t especially French either, and before we get going with the interview he reveals he’s half Scottish. Hence the impeccable English.
Fizzing with ideas, Leroux talks nineteen to the dozen while I struggle to scribble it all down. He’s refreshingly candid for a Champenois about the state Charles Heidsieck was in when he arrived at the house in 2013. “By that point sales had dropped by 90% and the company was in a state of despair. The brand had gone to sleep. Turning it around is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” he says.
Heidsieck had plummeted from great heights – as recently as 1986 its sales were on a par with Veuve Clicquot. Leroux puts Heidsieck’s demise down to being owned by Rémy Cointreau. Which ploughed more cash into promoting its spirits brands as they were more profitable for the business. “A Champagne brand seems like a jewel in the crown but it’s a long way to Tipperary. With all the machinery and the ageing process it’s an expensive business and by 2011 Charles Heidsieck had nearly died.”