Named Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2021 by the International Wine Challenge, Emilien Boutillat is the youngest Chief Winemaker to lead Piper-Heidsieck, upon taking over from the renowned Chef de Cave, Régis Camus, in October 2018. Emilien’s dynamic approach to winemaking has maintained the excellence and success of the House, enabled by his philosophy to balance tradition with trailblazing distinction.
Emilien was born in Champagne into a family of winegrowers. His passion for enology and terroir started at an early age, and his pursuit of viticulture and enology studies was a natural path. Emilien graduated in 2009 from the SupAgro University of Montpellier, France, with a diploma in enology and agricultural engineering. He then travelled the world discovering new terroirs and extending his knowledge at various wineries in France (Bordeaux, and Rhône Valley), New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, and the U.S. After five years of extensive training abroad, Emilien was ready to go back to his roots.
In 2013, he applied his expertise by joining the winemaking team at Champagne Cattier and Armand de Brignac until 2018, when he was hired as the Chief Winemaker at Champagne Piper- Heidsieck. True to his beliefs, Emilien encouraged his winemaking team to fully expand the winery’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices in the vineyards. Piper-Heidsieck is proud of its HVE/VDC certification (Sustainable Winegrowing in Champagne and High Environmental Value) and its core value of working towards eco-friendly practices.
Emilien Boutillat’s Champagne roots and international experience afford him the ability to approach his position with curiosity and optimism. In another life, Emilien practiced theater improvisation for eight years; this unique skillset allows him to create vintages that are true to the House’s spirit, however, with a touch of forward thinking. Emilien is the bridge between the terroir and the world.