A woman’s place is in the (Cham­pagne) house

Cuisine - - CHAMPAGNE $100 & UNDER -

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.

Lily Bollinger

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