Before 1994, the UMC (Union des Maisons de Champagne) was a federation of unions: the Syndicat de Grandes Marques and the Syndicat des Négociants. Since 1994, the Grandes Marques brands and Champagne Houses have come together within the UMC to which they belong directly. A professional union subject to the law of 1884, the UMC is open to any enterprise whose main activity is the making of wines, commencing with the buying of grapes selected for the purpose of marketing their Marque across the world.
The UMC fulfills the objectives of a professional union, which is to say defending the interests of its members in every area that governs their business. The Union serves as the meeting point for Houses, no matter what their size, from the smallest House to large international groups, Houses that own large vineyards and those that do not, from the international Grandes Marques to those that are active chiefly in France. Its members gather here to express their point of view and make their contribution in the general interest of the Champagne industry.
To this end, the Union maintains a continuing dialogue with the Syndicat Général des Vignerons. It defines the framework of the continuing partnership between the Houses, which market 60% of the volume of Champagne wines, and the Winegrowers who own nearly 90% of the vineyard area. Winegrowers and Houses together decide and control the activities undertaken within the CIVC, with regard to the management, protection and enhancement of the appellation, and with regard to wine and grape research. The Houses confer with each other on all of these issues, which are then the object of decisions taken by consensus within the CIVC among the representatives of the Houses and Winegrowers respectively.
The UMC provides the Houses with advice and information in various areas (law and regulations, winemaking, export, social management, etc) and keeps directors regularly updated with the latest developments. Guides providing access codes to each service manager within their enterprise are permanently available to directors, enabling them to access current information without delay. Each House then defines at its convenience and without need of consultation the strategy and the means to put it to work for the creation and development of its Marque within the regulatory framework of the free market economy. In France in particular, where Champagne has been known to consumers for centuries, generic promotion now appears ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst since it threatens to obscure the specific characteristics that each Champagne maker wishes to promote on an individual basis. It is up to each House, whether small, medium-sized or large, to promote the value of the particular qualities of its own cuvées, all the while participating in the general reinforcement of Champagne’s reputation around the world — a reputation more than two centuries in the making. The Houses meanwhile continue to focus their collective efforts (in concert with the Winegrowers within the framework of the CIVC) on the development of consumer information and the protection of the appellation, whose origins are owed to the oldest Champagne brands.
Presidents of the Union since its creation, and their Grandes Marques Champagne brands:
|2013||Jean-Marie BARILLERE||David CHATILLON|
|2007||President Ghislain de MONTGOLFIER|
Vice-president Jean-Marie BARILLERE
|1994||Yves BENARD||Yves LOMBARD|
|Syndicat de Grandes Marques||Union des Grandes Marques & Maisons de Champagne||Syndicats des Maisons, (aka|
|1993||Jean-Claude ROUZAUD- L. Roederer||Jean-Michel DUCELLIER - Ayala||François-Xavier MORA|
Marne & Champ.
|1991||Roger DUVAL - Duval Leroy|
|1986||Claude TAITTINGER - Taittinger|
|1983||Alain de VOGÜÉ - Veuve Clicquot|
|1979||Michel COLLARD - Philipponnat|
|1975||Jacques LEPITRE - Lepitre||Michel DUNTZE|
|1974||Claude d’HAUTEFEUILLE - Bollinger||François d’AULAN - P. Heidsieck|
|1972||Gaston BURTIN - Marne & Champ.|
|1960||Bertrand de VOGÜÉ - Veuve Clicquot||Alexandre MÉRAND - De Castellane|
|1952||Christian HEIDSIECK||René CHAYOUX - Ayala|
|1949||Jacques de la MORINERIE - Delbeck|
|1943||Le Syndicat des Maisons|
(aka Syndicat d’Épernay) allowed the UMC to represent the body of Houses.
|1942||Charles CHARBONNEAUX - G. Goulet|
|1934||The creation of the UMC in the war united the|
Grandes Marques brands and the Champagne Houses in the face of the Nazi occupiers.
|1926||Bertrand de MUN - Veuve Clicquot|
|1923||Fernand BLONDEAU - Irroy|
|1919||Bertrand de MUN - Veuve Clicquot|
|1914||Raoul de BARY - Georges Goulet||Alexandre HENRIOT|
|1909||Bertrand de MUN - Veuve Clicquot|
|1897||J. BURCHARD-BELAVARY - Delbeck|
|1882||Florens WALBAUM - Heidsieck|