Silversea Introduces Partnership with Duval-Leroy, a Champagne House in France’s Côte des Blancs

Silversea’s new partnership with Duval-Leroy, a family owned-and-operated producer of Champagne, is generating a lot of excitement for Lawrence D’Almeida, Silversea’s wine ambassador. He recently traveled to Duval-Leroy in Vertus, France, to experience the storied culture of this family-owned Champagne maker, family operated since 1859.  (Watch the video below, created around his visit.)

Its Champagnes will be served on all ships in the Silversea fleet. These are produced entirely in-house, and its vineyards are certified for sustainability and High Environmental Value, or HVE.

What matters most, D’Almeida tells us, is quality. “When selecting a Champagne, whether for a fine restaurant or for Silversea, the consideration of quality is paramount,” he says. “With Silversea this begins with choosing the right partner. And Duval-Leroy was, for us, a natural choice.

“People forget that Champagne is one of the world’s finest – and most demanding – wines,” he adds. “As a result of its very cool and uncertain climate, Champagne has been, from the beginning, characterized by both different vintages and different vineyard sites, in order to achieve optimal balance,” he says, noting that Duval-Leroy grows its pinot noir in Montaigne de Reims and its Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in the Côte de Blancs.

Champagne is a universal icon, a synonym for luxury, joy and the celebration of style.


We asked D’Almeida for additional details about the change.

Why is Duval-Leroy such an exciting story for Silversea?

Duval-Leroy has been committed to quality, to attaining a high level of luxury just as Silversea has. It is exciting as it is a natural partnership of great synergy. They both share commonalities of heritage, shared commitment to quality and a partnership that is in sync with both company’s values.

You mention the concept of Champagnes de Créateurs. What does that mean?

The phrase has no official meaning; it is a marketing self-designation. In Champagne, there are three main types of recognized houses: Maisons (Champagne houses) like all the famous ones out there, from the colossus Möet et Chandon, to the well-known Veuve Clicquot, Roederer, Taittinger etc.; and Cooperatives (most famously, Nicolas Feuillatte, but there are dozens).

Between them, the maisons and the Cooperatives produce well over 95 percent of all Champagne. Duval-Leroy has always been considered a Maison (they have always had the means to produce Champagne and have owned a significant part of the vineyards their grapes come from.

Duval-Leroy can be said to have legitimately earned the unofficial designation of Champagnes de Créateurs insofar as they are very creative indeed in the variety of wines they produce: a Certified Organic Champagne (the first of its kind); a single-vineyard Blanc de Blancs (the Clos des Bouver, an unusually large single plot – 3 hectares – grown exclusively to Chardonnay); a Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, 100 percent Chardonnay Champagne with fruit coming exclusively from Grand Cru, which is very officially the highest quality vineyards.

There’s also a superb Prestige Cuvée (the name given to all Champagne houses flagship cuvées) called Femme de Champagne, which is vintage-designated only in the very best years and is otherwise released without vintage designation.

Can you explain more about the lesser-known world of independent Champagnes?

Lawrence D’Almeida is Silversea’s wine ambassador

I consider Duval-Leroy as independent because it has always been a family business, a family-owned brand of Champagne. These days, independent Champagne houses are becoming increasingly rare.

Will Duval-Leroy’s Champagnes be on all Silversea ships, including expedition? When should we expect to be able to try them onboard?

Yes, they will be on all ships in the fleet. The Duval-Leroy Brut Réserve will be the ‘pouring Champagne’ throughout the fleet. Roll-out has begun and should be completed by June – August, depending on logistics.

Duval-Leroy’s Femme

Which other Duval-Leroy Champagnes will be available on Silversea?

For the time being, there will be three Duval-Leroy Champagnes on Silversea ships. The Duval-Leroy Brut Réserve (the entry Brut cuvée, like all Maisons have), is part of its ‘Classic Range.’ One bottle of Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige Premier Cru, a wine from the ‘Prestige Range,’ will be offered to all VIP suites upon embarkation (as opposed to the Brut Réserve, which will be offered in all standard suites). Finally, the Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne 2002 (the current vintage of the Femme on the market), its very top Champagne – it’s superb, really – will also be featured on Silversea’s Connoisseur List (as will the previously mentioned Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige Premier Cru).