A woman’s place is in the (Champagne) house
There is a rich history in Champagne of strong women making a mark. The widow (Veuve) Clicquot comes to mind, as does Lily Bollinger. Both women ran their respective houses for several decades after the deaths of their spouses, and did so very successfully. The theme recurs today at the grower champagne label J. Lassalle, located on the Montagne de Reims. Olga Lassalle took over the running of the house in 1982 following the death of her husband Jules, while her daughter Chantal assumed the winemaking duties. In 2006, a third “femme familiale” got involved. Chantal’s daughter Angeline came on board and is currently the winemaker. “We have three strong characters, but we need character for our job,” Angeline has said. The formidable matriarch Olga is still going at 97 years old.