Meet the king of bubbles
As the export director for one of the world’s leading Champagne houses, Clovis Taittinger — from Champagne Taittinger — spends much of his time travelling, helping to expand his family brand around the world.
It’s fitting, then, that he’s named after an ancient king, Clovis I, who united much of what is now France in about 500 AD and was the region’s first Catholic ruler.
“Clovis was one of the fathers of the modern country of France,” says Taittinger. “He was a victorious king, a great king and conqueror.”
As for Taittinger himself, he’s on a path to conquer the world of Champagne.
A typical day? There isn’t one, he says.
“We are in 140 countries in the world, and, as you can imagine, every one of those countries needs specific attention, a specific plan and a specific strategy,” he says. He travels extensively, but says he isn’t sure how much, just that he has visited about 50 countries.
“Maybe more, maybe less. I’m not sure. I’m not counting the days or the countries,” Taittinger says. One day, Taittinger may be at a meeting in the U.S. or a dinner in Canada. Or Asia. Or Scandinavia. Or perhaps he’ll be at home; he and his family live in the heart of Paris, the first arrondissement, only blocks from the Louvre museum and the Tuileries Garden.
Married to a woman that he met at university (he holds a master’s degree in history from the Sorbonne), Taittinger is the father of two young children, ages four and five, as well as a 12-year-old stepdaughter. He and his sister, Vitalie, (who works in marketing and design) joined the family business at the urging of their father, who spent more than 30 years dedicated to the company that was founded in 1932 by his great-grandfather. (For a time, Champagne Taittinger was owned by Starwood Hotels, but Taittinger’s father bought it back in 2006.)
“I do my best to balance the company and private life,” Taittinger says. “It’s important for the company to have people bearing the name of the brand. We are a small team and we are all very much involved in the operation of the company.”
Words of a leader, from a king of Champagne.
Six Degrees Connection:
In addition to both being crazy about music, Clovis Taittinger and Alberto Antonini both come from Old World traditions, where the concept of terroir is essential to the winemaking process.
We said Kevin Bacon has connections. As it turns out, Clovis Taittinger’s sister Vitalie Taittinger — the Champagne house’s global spokesperson — opened the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards with a Champagne reception earlier this year. (Champagne Taittinger has sponsored the event for the past 12 years.) As for Bacon? The former SAG winner was a presenter this year.
Read all the Six Degrees of Separation profiles here.