Having grown up in a winemaking family, Hervé Dantan was naturally drawn to the industry, with Champagne proving to be his overriding passion. Now, Hervé is the sole winemaker at the House of Lanson, so as Red Carnation partners with the prestigious label to offer Champagne Lanson throughout each of the hotels, the esteemed winemaker takes us behind the scenes of this extraordinary Champagne House.
What was your earliest experience of wine and winemaking?
“My parents were vine-growers in Champagne, so I first experienced this life when I was a child, later going on to study oenology at Reims University in the Champagne region. Since my roots were in the vineyards of Champagne, after spending several harvests in other wine regions, I returned to Champagne.”
What is it you find most appealing about the Champagne region?
“For me, it’s the history, the variety and the complexity of the vineyards and winemaking process. You can discover millions of bottles across many kilometres in the Lanson galleries.”
What drew you to Lanson?
“It was the prestige and reputation of Lanson that drew me here, as well as the heritage and very long know-how in winemaking. It was because of the excellent sourcing of grapes, and the Champagne House’s great collection of vintages and reserve wines. And it was the investments that are still being made in order to continually improve the quality of our wines.”
What makes Lanson Champagne stand out?
“The Lanson House is well known for making wines that are always crisp and mouth-watering with freshness, elegance and vitality. This is due to Lanson always being faithful to the original method of winemaking, which has been followed since 1760. The versatility and style of Lanson Champagne means it can be an aperitif, enjoyed on its own or throughout a meal.”
What does your role as winemaker for Lanson involve?
“I am the guarantor of the Lanson style, and I am involved in each step of the winemaking process, from the vineyard to the winery and cellars, until the champagne is poured into the glass.”
Are there any wines you’re especially proud of?
“I’m proud of Lanson Black Label because it is the flagship of the brand, and because it is the wine that is most difficult to elaborate. A blend of three grape varietals, around 100 different crus, 10 different vintages aged for three years, and four months of tastings goes into this Champagne, just to ensure we get the right blend for the timeless Black Label style.”
If you were to pair this with food, what would you choose?
“I love Black Label on its own, as well as with the many pairings that are possible, such as seafood. One of my favourite pairings is Black Label with scallops and oyster tartare.”
Taste this Champagne for yourself in each of the elegant bars and restaurants within the luxurious Red Carnation Hotels. Whether you opt to have it paired with some of Hervé’s favourite seafood or prefer to savour a glass of bubbles on its own, you know you’ll be in the perfect setting.
Image credits: Cover photo of Hervé Dantan © Champagne Lanson. Reims in Champagne © iStock / artJazz. Grapes in a Champagne vineyard © iStock / artJazz. Vines in Reims, Champagne © iStock / artJazz. Glasses of Champagne © iStock / Shot Share.