Meeting with François Philipponnat
What is your role within the Maison Philipponnat?
“I’m the export manager. Thomas Jorez is the export director and, together, our role is to maintain relations with the House’s importers and with our customers, develop the sales network and boost sales. We represent the House, a responsibility that is all the more important to me since I bear the Philipponnat name. This is a historical, family and emotional legacy that I’m proud of. ”
You are the son of Charles Philipponnat and you represent the 16th generation within the House. What does that mean to you?
“Behind these sixteen generations, there is the idea of a guideline, of wanting to perpetuate a legacy. Taking up the torch without doing anything differently but adapting, continuing to do things by improving them little by little. This is the story of the sixteen generations: men and women who are headed in the same direction, yet finding their own way, their own way of being, their own identity. Not wanting to change everything, keeping things as they are, and at the same time not being a mere replica. We must each leave our mark, and make our ancestors proud of us, whilst maintaining genuine humility: we are but a bridge between generations. ”
This year you are celebrating 500 years of the Philipponnat family’s presence in Champagne. How do you see the next few years?
“It’s obviously impossible to look 500 years ahead. The only thing I know for sure is that I hope there will still be family members in the House. If I look ahead to the next few decades, I know that we must continue to evolve and progress. Our ambition is to become a respected benchmark among the distinguished Houses while upholding our connection to our land. This connection to the land is powerful and deep-rooted, and the reason why my relationship with the House is so passionate. At a time when everything around us is picking up pace, it is a real challenge to manage to stay focused, to put down roots afresh amid such constant change. But it is essential to stay attuned to the land, to understand it. Once you have that, when you inherit five centuries’ worth of tradition, the rest comes naturally. That, I suppose, is what I ultimately wish for us for the next five hundred years. ”