Little did Leonardo DiCaprio know that when his Titanic character, Jack Dawson, raised a glass of Champagne and toasted, “To make each day count,” 25 years later the actor and activist would become an investor in a Champagne house that also makes it count each day in terms of their commitment to the environment.
DiCaprio recently joined majority shareholder Rémy Cointreau group with his investment in Telmont Champagne, a house with some of the most ambitious goals for greater sustainability in the region. Formerly known as J. de Telmont, the house was founded in 1912 and renamed Telmont in 2021.
Telmont’s path to sustainability began four years earlier, when it earned its first Agriculture Biologique France Certification for organic agriculture for a portion of its 60 acres of estate-owned vineyards in 2017. As part of a larger, multi-pronged project the house refers to as “In the Name of Mother Nature,” they pledged to convert all estate-owned vineyards to organic agriculture by 2025 and all cultivated areas—including vineyards from which they purchase grapes—by 2031.
“Champagne Telmont, together with its partner winegrowers, has set its sights on producing 100 percent organic Champagne, ensuring a completely sustainable production lifecycle in the coming years,” said DiCaprio in a press release announcing his investment. “From protecting biodiversity on its land to using 100 percent renewable electricity, Champagne Telmont is determined to radically lower its environmental footprint, making me proud to join as an investor.”
Given Champagne’s location as one of the world’s most northerly wine-producing regions, and the regularly difficult weather conditions there, Telmont’s undertaking to eliminate herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers is admirable. To date, less than 4 percent of Champagne’s vineyards are certified organic (although a much larger percentage of acreage is farmed using organic techniques).
Other aspects of Telmont’s Mother Nature project extend beyond organic agriculture. The Champagne’s packaging eschews gift boxes and it is only bottled in green bottles made from 85 percent recycled material (as opposed to clear bottles made from no recycled materials). The house no longer uses air freight as part of their supply and distribution chain and instead selects transportation companies based on their Corporate Social Responsibility score. And as DiCaprio mentioned, Telmont uses 100 percent renewable energy.
"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 Champagne Telmont chairman Ludovic du Plessis. “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.”
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