The staff working in the House vineyards, whether salaried employees, casual workers or employed by independent service suppliers, are deployed to undertake the annual cycle of vineyard tasks:
A House that owns a Champagne vineyard can manage that vineyard in various ways:
The Houses collectively own slightly more than 10% of the Champagne vineyard area, but they are responsible for more than two thirds of all Champagne sales.
The winery tank room (French cuverie or cercle) plays a pivotal role in the process that transforms grape must into still wine in the final three months of the year. The tank-room operator oversees:
The cellar worker takes delivery of the newly-bottled wines and stacks them manually, storing them on their sides in the cellar, separated by thin slats of wood (hence the French term sur lattes. Here they will stay for a period of aging that may continue for several years and in the course of which the wine will undergo second alcoholic fermentation — the birth of the bubbles and with them the aromas in Champagne.
At harvest time, the winemaker’s first responsibility is to test the quality of the newly-pressed grape musts in the winery laboratory.
The Cellar Master is to Champagne what the composer is to music: the hand behind the masterpiece. Every year, the Cellar Master creates a blend of wines from different grape varieties and vineyards (plus reserve wines from previous vintages) that faithfully replicates the signature taste of the brand.
Human Resource Management (HRM) begins with an appraisal of the abilities and objectives of each employee so as to provide in-house training best suited to their needs.
A House’s Public Relations activities are essentially concerned with external communications: a key tool in the development of a brand image that communicates the House’s winemaking philosophy to the media and the public.
With more than one in two of their bottlings destined for foreign markets, the Champagne Houses attach great importance to global representation by committed sales people with a perfect command of all the relevant languages.