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.