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  • Writer's pictureMona Elyafi

How To Pair Luxury And Social Responsibility?


What does a former army soldier and a marketing expert have in common?

They are two unique Champenois from very different backgrounds, albeit armed with the same sense of service and duty: to create a champagne brand that goes beyond simply being an emblem of luxury and becomes an elevating tool for resilience.

Meet Samuel and Céline Leclert the masterminds behind Champagne “Alethéia” – a Greek expression meaning “the truth revealed”. More than just a new commercial champagne brand, it is first and foremost a humanitarian action travailing to combat domestic violence.

The desire to “make a difference” grew during Samuel’s military years when as a paratrooper he was sent to countries where women and children suffered some of the most atrocious abuses (rapes, mutilations, crimes, etc.). These horrific visuals stayED with him in an indelible way and fueled the drive to do something about it.

Upon leaving the army, Samuel went on to train former prisoners in the vineyards.

Vine training was already in his DNA having been formed by his father who had taught a young Samuel work in the vineyards. He then proceeded to take the reins of a small family-owned champagne house. But it wasn’t until he met Céline, a survivor of domestic violence, that all the dots connected. Samuel then had his own epiphany – his truth was revealed: he needed to combine his passion for champagne with a useful action for society.

Thus, was born ALETHÉIA.

“Alethéia was conceptualized as a long-term reconstructive tool,” explains Samuel.

Alethéia’s number one mission is to help women victim of violence to escape their hangman and find a way to re-insert themselves into society. Samuel and Céline provide them an opportunity to be trained and formed in the vineyard business and gained the required skills for the elaboration of the wines of champagne.

“Champagne is like a ballet,” says Samuel Leclert, “we’re all in awe of ballerinas’ grace and agility, and we tend to forget the hours and efforts it took for them to achieve such perfection. Champagne is the same. It is a wine crafted in a region with a very complex climate, months, even years spent maturing in the cellars. These women are the same. They went through difficult times, but we want to show them not only their importance in society but as well the capacity and potential they possess to elaborate a prestigious product like champagne.”

An ambitious project that is somewhat going against the conventional grain and old-school ways of the Champagne region.

“The hardest thing to do in Champagne is to bring new ideas to the table,” quips Samuel.

“I love my region and its wine, but I am very critical of its lack of acceptance vis-à-vis innovative ideas and a thinking out of the box attitude.”

But that’s not deterring Samuel who anticipates his champagne house to be in full motion by 2023. The duo, who is setting its headquarters in the Aube department near the historic city of Troyes, is looking to create partnerships with other champagne houses to recuperate a certain number of bottles that would be handled by the surviving victims trained under the Alethéia marquee. Thanks to these partnerships they also hope to exploit a small portion of vines to help the surviving victims hone their skills from vine to cellar.

“It’s a win/win proposition,” says Samuel.

A genuine “Fair Made” product that adheres to one precise motto: Solidarity is the New Chic!

“Many businesses put the focus on the environment, which is an important part of the equation, but they too often forget about the “S” – the SOCIAL responsibility, which is almost always excluded from all debates, even in the wine world, “comments Samuel.

Champagne Alethéia is an invitation to participate in an adventure and join forces with a caritative action that is helping people regain their dignity and independence. It is also an opportunity to indulge in an exquisite moment with a champagne elaborated with utmost respect for the environment and the savoir-faire Champenois.

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