Nicolas Feuillatte is unique among major Champagne houses for its youth—it was created in 1976 by the eponymous Mr. Feuillatte, a coffee baron, bon vivant and international socialite. Ten years later, the brand was sold to the growers, headquartered at the Centre Vinicole outside Epernay. In a very short time, it has become the best-selling Champagne in France. The Champagne house celebrated its 35th birthday a few weeks ago with a grand bash held at the Maison de l’Architecture, opposite the Gare de l’Est. Built in 1603, the ancient stones and collonades of the building once housed a Franciscan order and a hospital before becoming a center of cultural expression.
The evening began with an apéritif at the Espace Nicolas Feuillatte, a boutique nestled among the couture shops of the rue du Faubourg St-Honoré. We sipped glasses of the special 35th anniverary cuvée (a bright, crisp five year-old Brut) and flutes of the 2002 Blanc de Blancs (full-bodied and distinctive, with flavors of citrus and green apple) while nibbling on the incomparable macaroons from Ladurée and chatting with artist Julien Taylor. Taylor is Feuillatte’s artist of the year, the creator of a montage of more than 300 photographs celebrating Champagne and the good life.
Back at the Maison de l’Architecture, the interior of the ancient building was decked out to resemble a living replica of Taylor’s montage—the floors were strewn with confetti, the walls were dotted with buffets and bars, and the rooms buzzed with personalities from the world of French art and film. Upwards of 500 guests circulated around the two floors, consuming glasses of NV Brut and Rosé faster than the bartenders could pour them. In one corner of the room sat Nicolas Feuillatte himself—still vibrant at 85, surrounded by food, beautiful women, music, dancing and all the hallmarks of the lifestyle he was instrumental in creating.