Claude Taittinger, Former Champagne House head, Dies at 94

Claude Taittinger

© Photo provided

Claude Taittinger

Claude Taittinger

© Photo provided

Claude Taittinger was appointed by the prominent Champagne family to take over running the Taittinger house after the death of his brother François in 1960. He remained at the helm until 2006, with the company describing him as a "tireless ambassador" for the brand. 

He passed away in Paris on January 3, at the age of 94, Le Figaro newspaper reported. 

Claude Taittinger was one of three sons of Pierre Taittinger, who founded the Champagne house in 1932, and he devoted his whole career to the family business. 

He was also the chairman of the Taittinger-Société du Louvre Group, whose interests included Concorde hotels, Baccarat and Annick Goutal Perfumes. 

Art lover & aesthete

During the 1960s, he planted nearly 140 hectares of additional vines in five years and also instigated what was a groundbreaking idea for the time ­– a comprehensive survey on how the French viewed Champagne. Under his oversight, Taittinger also became one of the first Champagne houses to mount publicity campaigns.

An aesthete and art lover, he worked to position the brand in a world of elegance and connections, creating the Taittinger Culinary Award in 1967 and the Taittinger Collection for contemporary artists to display their work on Taittinger bottles, in 1983.

In 2005, several branches of the Taittinger family voted to sell the business to Starwood Capital but the Champagne division was later bought back.

Claude Taittinger received the French Legion of Honour for his work. His funeral will take place on January 7 in Paris, and he is survived by his wife Catherine and three daughters, Brigitte, Virginie and Christine, Le Figaro reported.

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