Wine Spectator: Nicolas Feuillatte, Champagne Entrepreneur, Dies at 88August 14, 2014
Nicolas Feuillatte, a socialite and entrepreneur who started the Champagne brand that bears his name, has died at 88, Wine Spectator reports. The Paris-born Feuillatte came to New York in 1947 when he was 21 years old. He moved in an elite circle of celebrities and wealthy people, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Lauren Bacall, who passed away earlier this week. In 1971, Feuillatte and his brother bought 30 acres in Champagne’s Montagne de Reims area and developed a vineyard. Feuillatte sold the initial production of 2,500 cases to his friends in New York, Australia and Switzerland. Then in 1976, he teamed up with the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne (CVC), a collection of grower cooperatives based in Epernay, to expand production, selling Champagne under the name Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Particulière.
Feuillatte eventually sold the brand to CVC in 1986, but continued to act as an ambassador. Today, Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillate produces 750,000 cases and is the fourth-largest selling Champagne brand in the U.S. and third-largest in the world.