Born in Charentes, near Bordeaux, Floriane Eznack became cellarmaster for Jacquart in 2011, aged just 30, one of only a few female chef de cave (cellarmaster) in the Champagne region. We talk to her about what it’s like to have a hand in creating one of the world’s most loved wines.
What is a chef de cave?
As chef de cave, it is my job to know what the future of our wines will be in ten and twenty years’ time…I work for the future of Champagne Jacquart and for the person who will be my successor which is both exciting and challenging!
I oversee the entire process: from winemaking to promotion. The main mission of a Cellar Master is to be responsible for the consistency of the flagship wine and style of a House. Secondly, the Champagne winemaker has to anticipate the ageing of the wine. After creating the blend, the wine is aged for a minimum of three years in bottles on thin lees to gain richness and complexity. There is no possible way to act on the style after bottling: you have to anticipate the change when you create it.
We need to consider the terroir, improve the quality year after year, share our knowledge and offer a lot of pleasure to the consumers.
Have you ever felt any discrimination because of your sex?
The Champagne industry is more and more open to women but it’s true that it’s still very dominated by men.
I know quite a few women winemakers all around the world, but not many as cellar masters or chief winemakers – there’s only a few of us in Champagne. The three cellar masters – all men – that I work with to create the Jacquart blends are great: their expertise, knowledge and gentleness make me feel confident.
We share the same passion and when you share the same passion and vision with your team, being male or female doesn’t make any difference.
What’s the best part of your job?
I am making, sharing, and drinking Champagne every day!
What is Jacquart’s flagship wine?
The Brut Mosaïque (aka Mosaic).
Inspired by the millions of pieces of enamel meticulously pieced together by the artists, the Jacquart style is a delicate blend of a number of parcels that requires patience and a delicate hand.
The blend, made up of the three classic grapes varieties is sourced from 40 to 50 different crus.
To ensure its consistency, complexity and smooth finish, the brut Mosaïque has a high proportion of reserve wines (30% minimum) and is slowly aged for almost four years on lees in our cellars.
The Brut Mosaïque is created to be spontaneously pleasant with its pure, clean and elegant style. It’s the ideal champagne to accompany your traditional appetizers for aperitif.
Why does champagne hold such a special place in our hearts?
Champagne is a joyful wine, surrounded by positive vibes.
Every day occasion is an event enough to open and share a nice bottle of Champagne: The end of a long day or a long week, a surprise guest, a good news, a bad news to cheer up, the spleen, just because you want to share it but always in moderation.
What are some common misconceptions around champagne?
In France and in Europe where messages are more frequent, stronger, champagne is finally considered as a wine and not only as luxurious bubbles of celebration. We now taste champagne for aperitif or during a meal rather than on a far too much sweetened dessert!
What would you advise someone who wanted to learn more about champagne?
Do not forget what wine and especially Champagne is all about: Pleasure and Discovery.
Visit the websites or blogs of highly knowledgeable champagne lovers, attend seminars given by winemakers or wine journalists. Attend wine events and read great books on champagne. And finally, discover the diversity of champagne by tasting new brands – ask for suggestions in your bottle shop.
Come and taste the fruits of labour of Floriane and her team at this year’s Effervescence (August 13) tickets now on sale here or for the VIP weekend package here