HEC Paris MBA students took an unforgettable field visit to Veuve Clicquot’s estate. Students embarked from Paris on a train for a short 45-minute journey to Reims, where they experienced a unique VIP tour of the centuries-old French Maison de Champagne. The tour started at the vineyards in Verzy with a straight-off-the-vines tasting of green and purple grapes and a demonstration of the picking and pressing process.
Next, the group returned to Reims and descended into the caves of Veuve Clicquot – an astounding 15 miles of underground tunnels, where 40 million bottles of champagne are stored. In the cellars, students learned how Madame Clicquot, known as the “Grande Dame of Champagne” and one of the first businesswomen in history, greatly expanded the champagne business after she was widowed at the age of 27. The cellar tour ended with a tasting of several premium champagnes: Yellow Label Brut, Millésimé, Rosé, and Grande Dame.
Just before dinner at the exclusive Hôtel du Marc, Arnaud Troussier, an HEC Paris alumnus and the Asia Business Development Manager for Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, welcomed the group to the headquarters of Veuve Clicquot. He shared the firm’s strategy and participated in a Q&A session with students.
The evening ended with an exquisite and delicious dinner at La Maison du Marc, the mansion acquired by Madame Clicquot in 1822. The group included Dominique Christiansen, Mauricio Mastropietro, Hilary Matson, Marc Chbeir, Fawad Bhatti, Janika Naust, Xinjia Wang and Madeleine Chabot. They were joined by Associate Dean of MBA Programs, Andrea Masini, Affiliate Professor Anne Michaut, an expert in luxury marketing, and John Byrne, Editor-in-Chief of Poets & Quants.
To learn what Poets & Quants had to say about the trip, click here.