An ideal lodge concierge will e-book a driver, make a dinner reservation, and print out your boarding passes. However what if these suggestions and providers went past the place to eat and what to do? What if the concierge might inform you what kind of Champagne you’ll like finest?
Meet Champagne concierge Lisa Legrand on the Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa in Hautvillers, France. She’s going to direct you to one of the best of Champagne, together with bookings at main producers like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Champagne Taittinger, in addition to unique personal homes which are closed to the general public.
However her duties go far past confirming your appointment. She’ll assist you to decide what kind of glowing wine you’ll like, offer you tips about deciphering amongst vintages, grant you entry to historic cellars, and educate you concerning the area’s tradition as a complete, from meals to structure. That will even contain a hot-air balloon trip over the storied vineyards and famed cathedrals.
The on-site concierge introduces company to the Champagne area in France, deduces their most popular kinds, teaches them concerning the beverage, and navigates the realm’s tasting rooms.Courtesy of Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa
Born and raised in Marne, identified for producing a number of the world’s most coveted bubbles, Legrand grew up taking part in harvest and hanging out with vignerons (the French time period for winemakers). She expanded her data by taking wine lessons, so she understands not solely “the tradition of bubbly,” but additionally numerous wine kinds from around the globe. For her, although, Champagne reigns supreme, which is why she loves sharing her native area, and all of the scrumptious wines, with company on the luxurious boutique property.
“Friends prefer to be shocked by what they don’t already know,” Legrand says. “I begin by asking about their favourite manufacturers, which supplies me a good suggestion of their style, and we go from there. They at all times come again from their experiences and rave about how a lot they’ve discovered about Champagne. It’s such a reward to make them comfortable.”
Fortune spoke with Legrand about what goes into being a Champagne concierge and what she recommends you do subsequent time you go to France—apart from, in fact, ingesting a flute of Champagne.
Champagne concierge Lisa Legrand on the Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa in Hautvillers, France.Courtesy of Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa
Fortune: Inform us concerning the function of Champagne concierge.
Legrand: My function is to have an intensive working data of all of the Champagne producers and their merchandise to create a bespoke itinerary for every visitor based on what they like. I ask questions that may absolutely reveal what precisely a visitor wishes of their bubbly. What do you drink most in your leisure time? Do you favor Rosé or Blanc de Blancs? What are your favourite producers? Then, I prefer to dig deeper. As an illustration, do they like biodynamic wine? Are they within the homes with fascinating tales behind them, comparable to Veuve Clicquot and its well-known namesake, or do they just like the extra unique homes, comparable to Bollinger?
What kind of coaching goes into being a Champagne concierge?
Our major coaching is concentrated on furthering our personal training concerning the area and every particular space. We will need to have an intrinsic, unparalleled data of Champagne. We proceed our coaching by collaborating within the visitor experiences ourselves, from exploring the cellars of each Champagne home to learning the Biologique Recherche strategies that our luxurious spa implements.
A Champagne picnic in Champagne, France.Courtesy of Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa
It sounds much like a sommelier. What’s completely different about what you do?
We work very intently with our chef sommelier Daniel Pires to find new homes and join with attention-grabbing individuals. Nonetheless, the [Champagne concierge’s] mission is just not restricted solely to le champagne—the bubbles—however La Champagne, our storied area. Past fizz, our data encompasses historical past, tradition, and actions for every type of company.
So there may be extra to Champagne than, properly, Champagne?
We will create all types of actions for our company to get pleasure from past coordinating Champagne home excursions. Most of our company don’t know concerning the area. They’re pleasantly shocked to seek out countless actions. If they’re fascinated with the historical past of the area, we will arrange excursions of the encompassing cities of Hautvillers, Epernay, or Reims. In the event that they wish to style the native flavors of the area with out leaving the consolation of the lodge, we will coordinate a personal tasting. No matter our company want for, we will make it occur, together with outside massages within the lodge’s vineyards or a personal hot-air balloon tour.
What’s a typical day like?
No days at Royal Champagne are ever the identical; that is the rationale why I really like my job! Every day is filled with surprises. I by no means know the way extravagant or thrilling company’ needs shall be and that’s what makes being a Champagne concierge so pleasant. On most days you will see me within the foyer of our lodge, assembly with the company and helping them with their agenda, though I’ve been noticed in all places, from seated within the lodge’s Mehari on a winery tour to wandering Epernay’s Rue Gambetta and chatting with native shopkeepers. A lot of our company favor to schedule their actions previous to arrival, so I do talk with purchasers to counsel itineraries. I at all times host a private assembly with them after they arrive within the foyer, even when we’re outdated mates through electronic mail.
Taking within the unimaginable views from the hills of Hautvillers, France.Courtesy of Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa
What are some high locations you want to inform company to go see or do within the Champagne area?
The Cathédrale of Reims. The outlook in Hautvillers has views of the Marne River, the vineyards, and the little Champagne village of Cumières. And the Abbaye de Dom Perignon in Hautvillers. I additionally at all times advocate a sundown cruise on the Marne. Few issues are extra idyllic. If a visitor is a little more adventurous, take an e-bike trip among the many vineyards surrounding the lodge.
Again to the drinks: What’s a standard false impression concerning the Champagne beverage that you just typically encounter?
That Champagne is a festive drink that must be saved for aperitif! This couldn’t be farther from the reality. Champagne is a correct wine with versatile properties that guarantee it might accompany a whole meal, from starter to dessert. Relying on the place the grapes are from, there are quite a few pairings potential. A little bit tip from me: Pair your subsequent glass of Champagne with some Parmesan shaves. It’s heaven!
What’s one of the best factor about what you do?
Friends want to uncover one thing new. Champagne is a coveted area, so it may be a problem to schedule excursions within the most-booked homes. It takes a little bit of negotiating to persuade the personal homes [which are closed to the public] to host our company. I typically should push doorways for some. However it’s the best satisfaction to see company comfortable. They arrive again from the homes with great experiences. They promise to return again quickly.
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