Champagne Bollinger’s connection to the James Bond films is helping boost sales of the brand in Asia. “They go crazy for Bond in Asia, which is really helping with brand recognition and giving our sales a boost,” Bollinger president Jérôme Philipon told the drinks business.
“I didn’t appreciate how powerful the Bond brand was for Bollinger in Asia until I saw it. There’s so much hype surrounding the new film Sky Fall out there already," Philipon added. Bollinger has collaborated with the Broccoli family – owners and producers of the James Bond films – for 37 years, in the longest standing relationship between a film series and a brand.
“They originally came to us as they wanted to feature the most British of Champagnes in the film, and we have a big connection to the UK, being the first Champagne to be given the Royal Warrant,” Philipon said. He revealed the brand “hadn’t paid a penny” for it to be featured in the Bond films, but was lucky enough to have an incredibly strong relationship with the Broccoli family.
Having appeared in Casino Royale, Philipon confirmed that Bordeaux Premeir Grand Cru Classé Château Angélus will not be appearing in the forthcoming film. “We had the meeting last week of all the brands involved in the film and Angélus owner Hubert de Boüard was not present,” he said, admitting he is keen to do more with the Bond association due to its positive impact on the brand.
“We’ve got a couple of limited edition Bond-branded bottlings that we’re going to launch in October to coincide with the Sky Fall premier, but I’m sworn to secrecy on the details at the moment,” he said. Directed by Sam Mendez, Sky Fall will have its world premiere in London on 26 October. In addition to Daniel Craig in the role of Bond, it also stars Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judy Dench and Helen McCrory.
Outside of Bond, Bollinger is keen to step up its presence as the pouring Champagne at other movie premieres, and will be working with premieres in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East in the coming year. The house is also nurturing a number of grape varieties permitted in Champagne that have been abandoned. An experimental plot adjacent to the prestigious Terre Chaud Vieilles Vignes vineyard in Ay is planted with Savagnin, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Gamay, Arbanne and Pinot Teinturier.
“I’m really proud of what we’re doing with these plantings. We want to make the most of our terroir and experiment with all the different grapes and see what works,” Mentzendorff’s marketing and wine director Elizabeth Ferguson said, adding, “These varieties were rejected and abandoned in the Champagne region over time, but with the threat of global warming, the high acid varieties might become a vital component in the blend in the coming years.”