Jiles's Blog

Who Am I?

17 years spent living and working in Champagne has allowed Jiles to build up a vast amount of knowledge about all things bubbly as well as a very extensive network of contacts, especially amongst the smaller and less well-known champagne makers whose champagnes will probably amaze you with their quality and diversity.

A job as area manager for Asia and Australia with Moët et Chandon was what first drew Jiles to Champagne after completing an MBA in Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC, a prestigious business school just outside Paris.

After nearly 9 years at Moët Jiles moved back to the UK where he started one of the first online businesses promoting and selling grower champagnes,

However the draw of ‘The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings’ once again proved irresistible and another 8 year stay in Champagne was the result. During this second stay in Champagne Jiles worked with the Syndicat Général des Vignerons de Champagne as an accedited consultant for small, independent champagne makers before setting up his own consultancy.

Jiles now spends his time between England and Champagne.and puts his knowledge and contacts to work helping wine lovers everywhere learn more about champagne and helping businesses and individuals to create their own private champagne brand.

He is the author of two books on champagne, several concise guides to champagne  and is the creator of an online champagne study course called My Champagne Expert



There's Gold In 'Tham Thar' Vineyards

Vines For SaleI always used to tell people that a hectare of prime vineyards in Champagne -  in a Grand Cru village - would set you back about a million euros.  It seems I'm way behind the times.

I was chatting to a prominent vigneron the other day, who has a very substantial estate, and he told me that he had recently been offered a hectare of Grand Cru at 1.8 million euros! That's a lot of money and it fact it's so much that you'd never get your money back from making champagne - or to put it another way, starting a champagne business these days is simply doesn't make economic sense.

To underline the point, so my source told me, here's what's happended to a few prices over the opast 10 years:

  • the price of a hectare of vines has gone up  72%
  • the price of a kilogram of grapes has increased 20%
  • but the selling price of a bottle of champagne has gone up a mere 1.5%

Who'd be a champagne maker eh?

Never mind, it's much easier being a champagne drinker!

Stay Bubbly


Walking The Environmental Walk

Francois explains the soil for MMICHere's a story about a champagne maker who not only 'talks the talk' when it comes to looking after the environment, but 'walks the walk' as well.

It's François Huré at Huré Frères in Ludes and if you don't already know his champagnes, do be sure to taste them whenever you see them in a wine shop. or on the internet. You won't be disappointed.

Mind you, you don't have to take just my word for that: François has recently had a great write up from Brad Baker aka 'The Champagne Warrior' in his newsletter.

Brad's a leading authority on champagne and if he is impressed by something the chances are you will be too.

Air bubble in the bottle for MMICAnyway, François has recently announced that from next January he is changing the colour  of  the bottle for his rosé from clear to amber.

You may wonder why he's doing that when many people put more emphasis on a clear bottle to show off the colour of the wine inside.

You probably know already that one of the reasons that coloured glass is used is that it protects wine from ultra violet light which can give it an unpleasant 'goût de lumière'. That's one good reason for moving away from clear glass even though,  from a marketing point of view, clear bottles for rosé are more 'sexy'.

It seems however that although clear bottles may be easy on the eye, they're not so easy on our good 'ole Mother Earth.

HURE ROSE for MMICWhy not? Well for a start clear bottles aren't re-cycled, at least not as clear glass.

Used clear bottles get mixed in with green and brown glass and all sorts of other colours and once that happens you can't get clear glass out at the end of the recycling process. That means that all clear glass bottles are made from scratch - not the most efficient use of resources.

For another thing, to make clear glass you have to hear the furnace to a few hundred degrees more than for green and brown glass - again more energy needlessly going up in smoke.

I suspect that there are not many champagne makers who have gone to the trouble of researching the production of clear glass to the same extent as François Huré and probably even fewer who would actually take action on what they found out.

That's one more reason, if you still needed one, to discover Champagne Huré Frères as soon as you get the opportunity.

Do come back soon for more news and comment from Champagne and meanwhile....

Stay Bubbly


Recent Blog Posts

Tractor parked in the vineyardsHello everyone,

Just a quick word to say that if you've been looking for blog posts recently I have been focussing very much on the harvest for the past few weeks so haven't posted on my blog much.
There's still plenty to discover mind you - just in a different place. Go to the Harvest 2012 pages and  you'll find everything there.

There'll be more regular blogs once the harvest is over.


What Winston Churchill Knew About Champagne

I think almost all of us can agree on this!

Champagne Shoud Be Dry Cold And Freee

Is This The Perfect Champagne Back Label?

Yesterday I visited #Champagne Tarlant in Oeuilly. Many of you may know Tarlant already. It's one of the more prominent 'Grower Champagne', it's exported to many countries around the world and it's by far and away the most active on social media, so there's no excuse for not finding out about it.

For those of you who don't yet know Tarlant it's worth discovering for all sorts of reasons: the quality of the cuvées, the wide range of champagne available and the innovation of the champagne making. Another stand-out point aboput Tarlant are the first-class back labels which give you a mine of information. In fact I think all back labels should be like this.