CHAMPAGNE PIPER-HEIDSIECK APPOINTS NEW CELLAR MASTER
Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck has announced the appointment of Séverine Frerson as its new cellar master, as former incumbent, Régis Camus, takes up the role of cellar master of Piper-Heidsieck’s Rare Champagne.
Selected by the former cellar master, Régis Camus, to be his deputy cellar master in 2015, Frerson joined Piper-Heidsieck back in 2002.
Born and raised in Champagne, she studied oenology at the University of Reims before joining the Comité Champagne in 1997, where she worked for two years. She then took up a position at Veuve Clicquot, where she worked alongside cellar master Jacques Péters.
At Piper-Heidsieck, she has held a range of roles including head of winemaking for Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck.
Camus will now take up the role of cellar master for Rare Champagne, the house’s prestige brand, after naming Frerson as his successor. After studying biology and biochemistry, he also trained as a winemaker in Reims, joining a Champagne cooperative before starting at Piper-Heidsieck in 1994.
Commenting on the moves, Benoit Collard, global executive director for Piper-Heidsieck, said: “Like a “maestro of varietals”, the cellar master is in charge of the style, finesse and quality of all the various cuvées produced by our house. For many years, Régis Camus fulfilled this role flawlessly, shepherding Piper-Heidsieck, founded in 1785, to the pinnacles of excellence. The International Wine Challenge jury rightfully recognised his work, awarding him the title of “Sparkling Winemaker of the Year” on eight different occasions.
“His successor is Séverine Frerson: a cheerful and determined young woman who has worked hand in hand with Régis for a long time. We nominated Séverine because she is exceptional. She has the intuition, vision and expertise necessary to lead Piper-Heidsieck to even higher summits of perfection and success.
“In addition to her role as cellar master, Séverine will personify Piper-Heidsieck. We aspire to having this little-known profession be enhanced by Séverine, who speaks more elegantly than anyone about the house’s wines and loves sharing her favourite picks.
“To sum up, a woman who is capable of charting a new course in our history, providing a link between our craft and lovers of Champagne, between our most magnificent vintages and those who cherish our house already, or those who will soon discover us. Congratulations, Séverine!”
In 2013, for the fourteenth time, Maison PIPER-HEIDSIECK’s Cellar Master was crowned Sparkling Winemaker of the year by the International Wine Challenge. It is the eighth title for Régis Camus. Daniel Thibault, his predecessor, had won six awards.
“Like a schoolboy, for me the year begins in September, with the harvests. We harvest and press the grapes and carefully make them into wine. From the end of October, we begin the first tastings of the clear wines. This stage allows the team of oenologists to get into the right mind-set for the year ahead. In December, the wines are allowed to rest and thenfrom January, we begin tasting them again. If the wine is full enough, if the year is good, we can anticipate making a vintage. The wine then has to be bottled, as well as not forgetting to build up our collection of reserve wines. These allow us to enrich our library: some of the wines in there are 30 years old, all different, all unique. I know it by heart, I dream of it at night. Champagne definitely embodies conviviality, sophistication, extravagance… But a PIPER-HEIDSIECK champagne is also a great wine to be enjoyed in its own right. With the cuvée Brut, the Maison’s signature and a bond of trust with champagne lovers, you are certain of ready-made luxury. With other cuvées, you can taste something more precise, a more golden colour perhaps, more candied citrus notes, or more toasted hints. With PIPER-HEIDSIECK Rare, our Prestige Cuvée or certain vintages, you then move into the world of haute couture and “handmade” wine.”