Leonardo DiCaprio gets into the Champagne business

Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in the century-old Champagne brand Telmont as it turns its focus to sustainability.

“Champagne Telmont, together with its partner wine-growers, has set its sights on producing 100% organic Champagne, ensuring a completely sustainable production lifecycle in the coming years,” DiCaprio said.

“From protecting biodiversity on its land, to using 100% renewable electricity, Champagne Telmont is determined to radically lower its environmental footprint, making me proud to join as an investor.”

Founded in 1912, the Champagne house is based in Damery, near Epernay. Remy Cointreau purchased a majority stake in the the business in 2020, which announced its environmental objectives last summer. Telmont vowed to convert all of its estate to organic growing by 2025, with 72% of its estate already organically farmed. It also simplified its packaging by moving away from the Champagne convention of gift boxes, while also moving to 100% recyclable green glass.

The house is also shifting to renewable energy sources including solar for its onsite operations and relying on EV vehicles at the estate. Additionally, it wants to be more conscious of carbon footprint in logistics, so it’s picking freight providers by looking at the companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility score, introduced in France in 2017 under the Corporate Duty and Vigilance Law.

“Leonardo DiCaprio’s decision to become a shareholder sends Telmont a strong message of support that will encourage us as we carry out our ambitious plans,” said Ludovic du Plessis, chairman and shareholder of Champagne Telmont.

“We share the same convictions and the same commitment to protecting the environment. The House has one foot in tradition and the other in modernity, but both firmly rooted in the terroir. We aim to act in the name of Mother Nature in everything we do.”

Telmont wants to grow its distribution networks outside of France and is banking on DiCaprio bringing his star power to sales in the United States. The star has 52.4 million Instagram followers, although there is no guarantee he will tout French bubbles on the social media platform.

HIs involvement with Champagne Telmont is currently limited to his financial investment, according to the brand.

Di Caprio isn’t the first celebrity to develop a taste for Champagne investment.

Brad Pitt’s Fleur de Miraval Rosé Champagne went on sale in Australia in 2020 with a Hollywood price tag.

Billed as the only Champagne house exclusively devoted to rosé, and with only 20,000 bottles produced for the first edition, Pitt’s collaboration with grower champagne house Pierre Peters has resulted in a premium release priced at $599.99.

Jay-Z Armand

Last year, Rapper Jay-Z has sold a 50% stake in his luxury Champagne brand Armand de Brignac to Moët Hennessy for an undisclosed sum.

The brand launched in 2006 and featured in Jay-Z’s song “Show Me What You Got”. Beyoncé also helped make it a household name when she poured a $20,000 bottle of bubbly into a hot tub in her 2016 music video for “Feeling Myself.”

Its gone on to have a strong presence in the US, Asia, and Europe, and over 500 000 bottles sold in 2019. Armand de Brignac Brut Gold – the brand’s flagship cuveé – retails in Australia for around $599 a bottle.

“For years we have been following the fantastic success of Armand de Brignac and admiring their ability to challenge some of the rules of the Champagne category,” says Philippe Schaus, President & CEO of Moët Hennessy.

Jay-Z added: “I’m proud to welcome the Arnault family into ours through this partnership that began with Alexandre Arnault and continued with his father Bernard Arnault and Philippe Schaus, at my home in Los Angeles. It is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time. We are confident that the sheer power of the Moët Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further.”

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