Even before they started the cooperage in 1998 Jérôme Viard and his business partner Denis Saint-Arroman had thought long and hard about what they wanted to create and now they are steadily putting it all into place. It’s a multi-faceted project that’s part business and technology, but which also involves preserving and passing on traditional skills, taking care of the environment and developing tourism.
From its original premises in the village of Cauroy-les- Hermonville, just to the north-east of Reims the cooperage now serves as many as 1,000 customers, providing them with new barrels, second-hand barrels and a full range of maintenance and repair services. In addition we offer tailor-made creations, wooden boxes and decorative objects related to the craft of the cooper.
For 10 years we have been working with the Compagnons de Devoir to welcome young apprentices from all over France.
In 2006 and again in 2012, our work at La Tonnellerie was recognised by the Living Heritage award.
Furthermore, in 2007 Denis Saint Arroman received the much sought-after award of Best Craftsman in France.
Wood, wind, water and fire: the 4 natural elements we work with and which all play their role in barrel-making, without the need for any artificial additives.
What’s more we deliberately source most of our oak – up to 80% in fact - from two local forests: the forest of Argonne and the forest of La Montagne de Reims. Our purpose is twofold: first, to promote the local forests and second, to offer our customers the advantages of local sourcing and full traceability, both of which are marks of quality and powerful commercial arguments for their oak-aged wines.
For a number of years now La Tonnellerie has welcomed visits by members of the wine trade as well as by groups of tourists from France and overseas.
Welcoming people is an important part of what we do so, in 2012, we created the Gite de la Tonnellerie: it’s a house in the heart of the village that can accommodate up to 10 people and it’s the perfect base from which to discover the Champagne vineyards.
Jérôme Viard was born in 1970 in Chalons-en- Champagne; his grandfather was a wheelwright and his father was a carpenter and cabinetmaker. Several years studying business, oenology and the economics of Champagne lead Jérôme to create La Tonnellerie de Champagne-Ardenne in 1998. It’s the only cooperage in the whole of north-eastern France and today this artisan business employs 5 full- time staff and makes, or repairs, some 1,000 barrels per year.
In 2006 and again in 2012 the Tonnellerie was given a special Living Heritage award and in 2013 Jérôme was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Marne Tourist Board in recognition of his work in promoting visits to the Tonnellerie.
During the same period he underlined his status as a custodian of traditional artisan craftsmanship by developing a number of innovative techniques such as ‘alternate toasting’ of barrels, amphora-shaped barrels and wooden plaques de muselet – the caps that sit on the top of champagne corks. Added to all this Jérôme also opened the ‘Gîte de La Tonnellerie’ in 2012.
Denis has been a cooper for 24 years and in 1998 co-founded the Tonnellerie. He was named ‘Best Craftsman in France’ in 2007 and is responsible for quality control and innovation.
Our products are distributed in Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and other European countries as well as further afield in The United States (Oregon - California), South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
For information about our appointed distributor in your country please e-mail us at