CHAMPAGNE | 11 November 2021 Champagne of the Millenium Absa | Corporate and Investment Banking > Insights and Events > Champagne of the Millenium SHARE What should every Billecart-Salmon lover know? We asked Antoine Roland-Billecart (Deputy General Manager) what makes Billecart--Salmon different? We cultivate an estate of 100 hectares and obtain grapes from an area totalling 300 hectares across 40 crus in the Champagne region. We are from the Pinot Noir section of Champagne. The Clos Saint-Hilaire cuvée was created in 1995 after an outstanding harvest. In honour of the patron saint of the church in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, it was baptised the Clos Saint-Hilaire. No more than 3,500 to 7,500 bottles are produced each year, and each is individually numbered. It is made exclusively from Pinot Noir vinified in oak casks. At the Clos, we show traditional methods of vigneron, including growing vegetables and encouraging beehives between the vines. The terroir therefore has a strong personality, and that personality comes through in the wine. In 1958 my father Jean Roland-Billecart, initiated a bit of a revolution in quality. He introduced a longer fermentation at a lower temperature and finally a cold settling as part of the vinification in tanks. This technique maintains the freshness and finesse which are characteristic of Billecart-Salmon wines. In the 1970s, Jean Roland-Billecart again shook things up by working on a Champagne which was traditionally seen as second class: a Brut Rosé. The gamble paid off and the Brut Rosé non-vintage has since become the House’s flagship cuvée. We have 200km of tunnels leading to the chalk cellars dating to the 17th century, where the wine is stored. Our Head of House Mathieu Roland-Billecart represents the 7th generation to run the family business. Our motto is "Give priority to quality, strive for excellence". The 1959 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart was named the “Champagne of the Millennium” by a jury of experts following a blind tasting of 150 vintages from the greatest Champagne Houses organised by Richard Juhlin. The 1961 vintage came second. https://cib.absa.africa/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/file_example_MP3_700KB.mp3 Related Articles EVENT Champagne Tasting Sheet Download this handy tasting sheet to record your impressions of your Champagne tasting journey. CHAMPAGNE We let our wines do the talking Interview with Antoine Roland-Billecart Deputy General Manager There are days when we just love our job, and this was one of them! We had the pleasure of interviewing Antoine via Zoom, while sitting in our wonderful new office at the Old Mill in Stellenbosch. Clear blue skies and a curious sunbird provided a congenial backdrop to our chat about Champagne, all in that charming French accent! The only improvement would have been if we were actually sitting in Champagne. Oh wait… our Club Champagne founder is there right now, but more on that later. CHAMPAGNE Champagne – it’s for sharing! Interview with Pierre Hermé by Bulles & Millésimes Pierre Hermé is world famous for his macaroons and pastry… and he has a passion for Champagne. He was awarded the title of World's Best Pastry Chef in 2016 by the World's 50 Best Restaurants and as the fourth most influential French person in the World by Vanity Fair in 2016. ENTERTAINMENT Stimulate All the Senses at Les Créatifs The Champagne in Africa team had the good fortune to interview Chef Wandile Mabaso creative food artist, owner and Chef of Les Créatifs Restaurant in Bryanston, whilst savouring the delicious lunch menu. The Champagne in Africa team support enjoying life and the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages are not for persons under the age of 18. Please remember to drink responsibly.