An interview with Alexandre Mea, CEO Champagne Carbon
Could you tell us who is Alexandre Mea, and where does the wine-making passion comes from?
Alexandre Mea – I consider myself an avant-gardist. I grew up in a small village in the Marne, in the heart of the Champillon vineyards. This passion for wine comes from my family, especially my grandfather. Indeed, I am the fifth heir to the heritage of Champagne Devavry.
Aesthete, cheeky and creative, I decided not to take over the rein of my family business, but to create my own Champagne House. So, I began Champagne Carbon with my grandfather’s oldest cuvées.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Alexandre Mea – I must admit that my days are eventful, I run everywhere (laughs). Normally, I travel abroad a lot, to promote my Champagne all over the world, but with COVID 19 situation, I travel less and spend my time between my two offices located in Champillon and Reims; most of my international meetings now take place over the phone or by video conference.
2020 has been a very challenging year, for everyone. How did your business handle it, and what was the biggest challenge you face it?
Alexandre Mea – 2020 has been a very difficult year, indeed. Particularly at the beginning of March, when it was the first lockdown. At that point, we temporarily lost our HORECA customers, and until now, in May 2021, many of them are still closed! We had to adapt our work, find new ways of working remotely sometimes, but always be available for all our clients. The team was amazing and adapted very well throughout 2020.
Every crisis is a challenge, but it also brings opportunities. We have gained new customers and new importers everywhere in the world. We entered four new countries, and increased our exports by 10%! This year, our main challenge is to grow locally and to develop a network of over 40 agents throughout the country.
Who or what inspires you in life, and why? Do you have a role model?
Alexandre Mea – I think Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, inspired me a lot. I recognize myself in his values, he is a visionary he is the visionary of tomorrow’s world, he likes to break the rules and make things happen. And that’s what I aspire to do with Carbon, revitalize Champagne by offering a product that combines tradition and modernity.
Walk us, please, through the history of Carbon, when and how did all begin? What is the meaning behind the champagne’s name?
Alexandre Mea – Carbon is the accomplishment of long and hard reflection, experiment, and work. The history of Champagne Carbon begins several years ago. The first bottles were marketed in 2013, however, the adventure began long before, following 4 years of research and innovation in order to create the perfect balance between our wines and our Carbon bottles.
The meaning behind this name is simple, but at the same time, it relates to the essence of life. Carbon is not only our raw material to make our bottles, but it refers to everything in life: carbon DNA, carbon dioxide, etc.
This is why our leitmotiv/baseline on social media is #lifeisallcarbonbased. Our brand is unique and goes beyond the champagne itself, it is an emotional and inspirational experience. Our brand is the link to the dynamism of life and to challenges!
How many assortments do you have, and what is the most wanted?
Alexandre Mea – Champagne Carbon has 2 assortments. First, the Carbon range which brings a real identity to our brand, and is the result of more than 4 years of R&D. All the bottles are in Carbon fibre, which needs 37 steps of artisanal production, everything is done handmade, it’s our DNA. This is how we created our brand, using our experience of making champagne, accumulated in the last 150 years, combined with a new area of excellence: the craftsmanship of carbon fibre.
Recently, adapting to this crisis situation, we wanted to offer the possibility to more people to taste our champagne CARBON and sense its high quality. This is how we came up with the idea of developing a new carbon experience with our sleeves range.
This new concept was launched last September 2020. We keep the carbon effect and the same quality of our champagnes, but we use different materials to produce the packaging of our nice bottle.
We offer a unique range of fines champagnes: brut – rosé –blanc de blancs vintages cuvées Bugatti EB.01 2002, Bugatti EB.02 vintage 2006 or vintage 2012. We try to make Carbon for everyone as #LifeIsAllCarbonBased.
If I had to name the most wanted one, I would say that it’s the Bugatti range. In fact, this is the perfect bottle both for collectors, but also a great chance of tasting great wine.
How is business different now, comparing to the beginnings?
Alexandre Mea – I would say that in a short time, we managed to grow and position ourselves very well on the market. It was hard work, but fortunately, the results are beginning to show. Carbon is now recognized around the world, we are starting to distribute more and more bottles. I like to see that my business is growing, and I can tell you that’s not all, you’ll hear more about Carbon (laughs).
With the level of hyper luxury your brand, did you find any synergies or similarities with other industries like cars or arts?
Alexandre Mea – As a luxury brand, we pay a lot of attention to the quality of our products, but also to our services. Our cuvées are all handmade in order to leverage on our know-how and craftsmanship excellence. This is what brings us closer to our partnership with Bugatti, an exceptional handmade product coming from our beautiful Champagne region.
3 Quick questions :
What’s your favourite place to live?
Alexandre Mea – I would say Dubai is a dream destination, there are no limits.
What does a dream day look like, for you?
Alexandre Mea – My dream day is to have fun in everything I do. Times are hard, a nice glass of champagne by the beach, with my loved ones, fills me with happiness.
What’s your favorite car?
Alexandre Mea – I think you won’t be surprised by my answer (laughs) but it’s Bugatti. These are exceptional cars.