FrontRunners: Joie de Vin

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2002

Red carpets, klieg lights, photographers and media crews jostling for space, French film stars . . . no, it was not a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival; it was the opening night of Lavinia, Paris’ newest and largest wine store, which took over 1,800 square yards on Boulevard de la Madeleine this fall.

Lavinia is the brainchild of two Frenchmen—Thierry Servant, the former president of l’Oréal in Spain, and Pascal Chevrot, a consultant to Champagne Roederer and an entrepreneur—who first began to conceive the idea at a dinner party in Madrid in 1987. “Madrid deserved a better choice of wine than existed,” recalls Chevrot. It was not until 10 years later that Chevrot, with “some extra time on his hands,” called Servant and asked him if he wanted to join forces and launch a “universe of wine” in Madrid. They opened their first store in Madrid in 1999, their second in Barcelona in 2001, and now they are taking on Paris.

Lavinia offers a staggering 6,500 types of wine (including 2,000 non-French wines from 43 countries). Its 15 salespeople are all trained sommeliers, and the bottles are presented lying down under perfectly controlled lighting, temperature, and humidity—even Lavinia’s delivery vans are temperature-controlled to ensure perfection when orders arrive at front doors.

The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…
Photo by Jeff Elkins
The cigar combines an Ecuadoran wrapper with Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos…
Worldwide talents are leaving their marks at a Provençal winery.
A special barrel of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon stunned the wine world when it sold for $260,000...
Only 250 cases of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch will be released…
FREE PREVIEW: The Masseto 2011 Toscana is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The Mortlach 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best...
The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…