The House of Laurent-Perrier was founded in 1812 by André Michel Pierlot. A former cooper and bottler in Chigny-les-Roses, André-Michel Pierlot settled in Tours-sur-Marne in 1812 as a négociant in the wines of Champagne. It was in this village, on plots named Les Plaisances and La Tour Glorieux that he founded what was later to become Laurent-Perrier. His son, Alphonse Pierlot, succeeded him and, not having any heirs, he subsequently bequeathed the House to his cellar master, Eugène Laurent.
Following his accidental death in 1887, Eugène’s widow, Mathilde Emilie Perrier, took the helm of the business and combined her own patronymic with that of her husband, naming the business “Veuve Laurent-Perrier”. With her strong character and reputation for integrity, she developed the business, restored its finances, and masterfully kept the House going throughout the Great War. In 1920, she paved the way for the international expansion of the brand by entering into a partnership with Sir Alexander Fletcher Keith McKenzie to invest in the British market.
Eugénie-Hortense Laurent succeeded her mother in 1925. Hard-hit by the economic crisis between the Wars and heavily in debt, she sold the estate to Marie-Louise de Nonancourt in 1939.
Bernard de Nonancourt dedicated his life to a single passion: Laurent-Perrier. His courage, convictions and energy transformed a small Champagne House purchased by his mother in 1939 into a global brand.
Bernard de Nonancourt and his elder brother Maurice joined the French Resistance. Only Bernard survived and joined the Maquis underground, where he met the founder of the Emmaus movement, Abbé Pierre. Later on, he was assigned to General Leclerc’s 2nd Armoured Division (2ème DB).
When he returned, his mother insisted he undergo an apprenticeship to fully understand the business, being a vines labourer, cellar and office worker, and a sales representative. In October 1948, aged 28, he was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of Laurent-Perrier. He was one of the rare owners of a Champagne House to have done all the jobs of his future employees.
Bernard de Nonancourt injected a dynamic momentum into the business. Keen on innovation, strongly attached to champagne traditions and to quality, he forged the commercial culture of Laurent-Perrier and created a renowned brand with a range of unique champagnes.
Up until his death on 29 October 2010, he made his vibrant stamp on the House of Laurent-Perrier, which will remain forever.
The de Nonancourt family are members of the management board to this day.