From left to right: Marcello Lunelli, Matteo Lunelli, Cyril Brun, Camilla Lunelli and Alessandro Lunelli (pic: handout)

From left to right: Marcello Lunelli, Matteo Lunelli, Cyril Brun, Camilla Lunelli and Alessandro Lunelli (pic: handout)

Former Chef de Caves of Charles Heidsieck is joining Italy's sparkling wine producer Ferrari.

Ferrari Trento, the renowned winery nestled in the picturesque Trentino region of the Italian Alps, made a groundbreaking announcement today: Cyril Brun, a highly esteemed figure in the world of Champagne, has officially joined the winery as their Chef de Caves.

This historic move marks a significant milestone, as it signifies the first instance of a Chef de Caves from Champagne making the transition to an Italian winery to serve as a full-time enologist. The appointment of Cyril Brun further solidifies Ferrari Trento’s commitment to excellence and their pursuit of pushing boundaries in the realm of winemaking.

Brun succeeds Enologist and Technical Director Ruben Larentis, who joined Ferrari Trento in 1986. His 37-year tenure at the winery located in Trentino has seen Ferrari Trento gain recognition as the Italian sparkling wine par excellence, winning the Producer of the Year Award at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships five times. Larentis was named Winemaker of the Year by Gambero Rosso in 2010. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in 2019.

Born in 1969 in the Grand Cru village of Aÿ, Cyril Brun joined Champagne Veuve Clicquot as a winemaker in 2000, after many years of working at his family’s estate in Champagne. After 15 years with Veuve Clicquot, where he oversaw the Pinot Noir program and led the Innovation and Development Department, Brun was named Chef de Caves at Charles Heidsieck in 2015. In both 2019 and 2022, he was named IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year. During his eight-year tenure at Charles Heidsieck, he was recognized internationally for recreating the famous cuvée known as Champagne Charlie, which was launched in the USA in 2022.

There are historical links between Ferrari Trento and the Champagne region. At the end of the 19th century, Giulio Ferrari learned to make sparkling wine in the Champagne region. It was he who first brought the Chardonnay grape from Champagne and encouraged its cultivation in Italy. He made the first Chardonnay harvest in Trentino in 1902, the year in which he founded Ferrari Trento. In both regions, harvesting is done by hand and secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle.

The Trentodoc experience promises to be different for Cyril Brun from that of Champagne, however. Trentodoc vineyards grow at higher altitudes than those of Champagne, offering qualities unique to mountain viticulture.

Brun joins a young and talented team of enologists who have been working with Larentis for several years. The combination of his strong experience and his enthusiasm to take on a new challenge make him an ideal candidate for Italy’s most-awarded sparkling wine company. Ferrari Trento places great value on attracting talent, believing that bringing people with different backgrounds together leads to greater success. After a long process of selection, it became clear that Cyril Brun offers the experience, willingness and passion to take on challenges that will lead to growth opportunity.

“On behalf of my family and the entire team at Ferrari Trento, I express our most heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Ruben for his tremendous achievements over the last few decades,” says Ferrari Trento President and CEO Matteo Lunelli. “We are excited to welcome Cyril to our team. We look forward to the great contributions and knowledge that he brings to our winery and are sure that he will be able to fully express the potential and the unique style of Trentino mountain viticulture. His talent in our category is unparalleled. We have every confidence that he will create exceptional Trentodoc wines that are loyal to our local traditions, while introducing a new perspective.”

Brun shares Ferrari Trento’s values of conveying knowledge and best practices across borders. “I am convinced of the quality of Ferrari Trento and of the potential of Trentodoc,” he says. “The opportunity to create traditional method sparkling wines from the unique, mountainous terroirs of Trentino is a privilege and an exciting opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience to a new context. First, there will be a phase of understanding the terroir before considering any changes. Winemaking is all about details. We will elevate, step by step, by focusing on the small details.”

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