La Cité du Champagne Collet – COGEVI opens its doors !
28th August 2014
Champagne Collet chose the symbolic dates of 19-21 June 2014 for the inauguration of La Cité du Champagne Collet – COGEVI, with 1921 being the year of its creation. These three days were to acknowledge the fruits of much hard labor, and time to reflect upon the past and a fortuitous future. The beginning of this future was put in to place upon appointment of Managing Director Mr. Olivier Charriaud. Over a year ago, Charriaud enlisted the talents of Pascal Blanchard (historian) and Emmanuelle Collignon (designer) to materialize the vision of Charriaud, Champagne Collet and the co-operative La COGEVI, today this accounts for 20,000 pieces of history and art, 1,500 of which are currently on display to visitors.
La Cité du Champagne Collet – COGEVI, is located at the foothills of Aÿ’s grand cru vineyards. Here situated on one site is now a place that pays homage to champagne and its exceptional history, along with of course Champagne Collet.
La Maison COGEVI is devoted to the history of the La COGEVI since its inception in the early twentieth century. It is unique and one of a kind, going beyond champagne to address the historical, social, political and economic influences throughout the history of champagnes first co-operative. The visitor traverses a century and views the impact of such fundamental external factors the World Wars through to the era of globalization.
La Villa Collet, meanwhile, aims to offer visitors a cultural and artistic journey into the heart of the 1920s and the Art Deco period. It is a pure evocation of an era, a lifestyle, and a state of mind. Here, Art and Champagne are made tangible; each room is dedicated to a cuvée from the Champagne Collet range. Once home to founder Mr. Raoul Collet, La Villa Collet is the legacy of a bespoke history and man, whilst also the future home of where champagne meets art and couture. The first floor of the Villa Collet is reserved for art exhibitions of artists from diverse backgrounds:
• La pièce Atelier des Grands Couturiers (Fashion Workshop), is dedicated to Champagne Collets Esprit Couture and the craftsmanship of Haut Couture and Champagne, along with a photographic exhibition from renowned Johanna de Tessières.
• Le Cabinet des Chefs is devoted to Champagne Collet Blanc de Blancs and the world of gastronomy. Here one can find the travel photo diary of Reno Marca of 2 Michelin starred restaurant Christope Aribert, this restaurant and head chef is also the winner of 2013’s Prix Champagne Collet du livre de Chef 2013
• La Galerie des matériaux, is dedicated to Champagne Collet Brut, Extra Brut and Brut Art Déco. Here lies exquisite art pieces crafted from natural and raw materials and curated by famed local gallery Cardo
La Vinothèque has also been redesigned in essence of Champagne Collets profound history. Composed of 200 meters of caves and holding a library stock of 30,000 bottles, La Vinothèque displays the extensive link between vignerons and the art of crafting great champagne. Throughout, exhibited are many panoramic photographs taken by photographer Michel Jolyot, these photos display the most important asset, the terroir.
Finally, the introduction of guided tours will offer visitors a unique view of the mysteries of champagne and access to the unique old chalk cellars of Ay. Here one can discover the production site entirely dedicated to Champagne Collet, the visitor will also gain understanding of the different stages of the elaboration of Champagne, the life cycle of the vine, the birth of the first bubble right through to the final step of labeling the bottle.
The dates for the festivities (19-21 June) signify the year of creation for La COGEVI and Champagne Collet in 1921. These three days reunited the artists and architects who have placed the jewels on the crown of what today is known as La cite du Champagne Collet – COGEVI. Pier Luigi Coppat was responsible for La Maison COGEVI, la Vinothèque and the newly renovated offices, François Bragigand and Sunny Duchêne were charged with the interior of La Villa Collet and local business ‘Gnat’ for structural works and landscaping of La Villa Collet and the La Cour d’Honneur. 80% of all works were carried out by local businesses.
A film centered on the vignerons, together with a film depicting the roots and history of La COGEVI was created by Bernard Billois, and since has won Best Short Film at Oeno-Video Festival 2014; these films are shown to guests upon visiting La Cité du Champagne Collet-COGEVI.
The day of June 19th was dedicated to La COGEVI’s vignerons and was opened by Mr. Jacques Marquette, President of La COGEVI, Jean-Paul Bachy, President of the Champagne-Ardenne region, and Mr. Dominique Leveque, Mayor of Ay. Guest of honor, Miss France 2014 Flora Coquerel cut the ribbon to the Villa Collet launching a day of celebrations in the theme of the roaring twenties.
‘La plus belle sépulture des morts, c’est encore dans la mémoire des vivants’.
In his inaugural speech, President Jacques Marquette cited famous writer and poet André Malraux: “The most beautiful resting place of the departed, are the memories that rest with the living” and insisted on this in honor of the men and women who have contributed to make COGEVI what it is today.
Representing Epernay, Mr. Didier opened the second day of celebrations on Friday June the 20th in the company of Champagnes foremost organizations (CIVC, SGV, AVC, UMC), as well as Mr. Franck Leroy, Mayor of Epernay, Mr. Desautels Pascal, Mayor of Oger and many national and international press persons along with the business partners of Champagne Collet.
La Cité du Champagne Collet – COGEVI achieved in celebrating most importantly the terroir and its product together with its insightful history. La Cité du Champagne Collet COGEVI will be open to visitors during two Heritage Days on the 20th and 21st of September 2014 and also privately by appointment.
Glass of Bubbly
Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.