Vous êtes ici : Welcome The World of Ackerman History and Heritage

share your experiences

","id":"shortcodes-ultimate-1910015","option_name":"widget_shortcodes-ultimate","so_sidebar_emulator_id":"shortcodes-ultimate-1910015"},"args":{"before_widget":"<div id=\"panel-19-11-0-0\" class=\"so-panel widget widget_shortcodes-ultimate shortcodes-ultimate panel-first-child panel-last-child\" data-index=\"15\" data-style=\"{&quot;background_display&quot;:&quot;tile&quot;}\" >","after_widget":"<\/div>","before_title":"<h3 class=\"widget-title\">","after_title":"<\/h3>","widget_id":"widget-11-0-0"}}” />[/siteorigin_widget]

The Ackerman Saga

The modest couple in Brussels, whose son Jean-Baptiste was born on the 24th of June 1790, never imagined that they were going to be the parents of a talented entrepreneur. As his grandparents were farmers, it is not surprising that after his numerous trips, he settled down in 1811, when he was a bit older than 20, in the rich French terroir of Saumur. He opted for Saumur first of all for its favorable geological conditions: the terroir of Saumur, with its chalky clay soil, laden with tuffeau stone, produces wine with a natural tendency to develop bubbles; but also for its combination of many other advantages, like the presence of water ways facilitating the transport of goods, as well as easy links to Touraine ensuring access to a supply of wines and a large workforce.

When he was only 21 years old in 1811, Jean-Baptiste Ackerman founded the House that still bears his name today. As a result, in just a few years, he developed a thriving wine business. This self-made man became an influential local personality, always at the forefront of progress. He was fully aware of the importance played by transport, and even took part in the development of the railway in the west of France in 1840: the line between Paris and Saumur was inaugurated in 1849. Even if it took 10 hours to get to Paris, the map of France at the time showed that Saumur was a forerunner, as it was one of few towns with a train station in 1850.

After selling still wines for a couple of years, and fine-tuning his knowledge about the varieties and terroirs of the Loire Valley, he decided to try his hand at making fine sparkling wines out of Loire Valley grape varieties.

The “méthode champenoise”

Jean-Baptiste worked very hard in view of elaborating a method that could produce bubbles from Saumur still wines: his famous “méthode traditionnelle”. He was officially recognized in 1838 as the first producer in the Loire Valley capable of developing the “méthode traditionnelle” by the Tasting Commission of the exposition of Angers which awarded him a gold medal – the first in a long series of accolades. This rivalry with Champagne’s long standing “méthode champenoise”, sparkled off court proceedings that continued after his death on the 10th of January 1866. Following this legal battle, the wines of Samur still have to put “méthode traditionnelle” on their labels. As he was innovative, in 1863 he deposited a cork with the registry of the tribunal of Saumur, bearing the name of his House. Entirely modern, he made good use of advertising, including pictures and posters: “A hunting dinner is incomplete without Ackerman-Laurance Dry-Royal.”

Paris, the 31st of October 1855

My dear Emilie,

I am delighted to learn that our latest wine has been awarded the Universal Exposition gold medal by the members of the jury in Paris. Competition was fierce. But despite being criticized by the major Champagne houses, the experts decided to exercise their independent judgment and gave us the first prize. This is going to be great publicity for us, especially when it comes to our British customers. As a result, I have come up with the idea of giving an original name to this exceptional wine: we could call it “Royal”, a brand that can be understood both in French and English alike. What do you reckon? On this day of great joy, I have a moving thought for you, as you have assisted me for the greater part of your life, often in misfortune and uncertainty. I also have a thought for Albert, Marthe and Marie, who are no longer here to share our happiness.

Your Jean-Baptiste

Inheriteed patrimony, troglodyte caves

In 1840 Jean-Baptiste acquired troglodyte caves on the banks of the Thouet, which flows into the Loire, France’s longest river and the chief transportation route for goods at the time. These caves have become a symbol of Maison Ackerman’s attachment to a unique French terroir, dotted with castles and vineyards, and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The caves were an excellent place to age and elaborate sparkling wines: cool and constant temperature, perfect level of humidity, dim luminosity, and plenty of storage room. Thanks to Jean-Baptiste Ackerman, the troglodyte caves were offered a second lease of life and became a typical place for making and selling Loire Valley sparkling wines. Houses specializing in this domain appeared as of the middle of the 19th century, all around the cellars established by Ackerman.

These caves were at the heart of a new economic industry. They were genuine factories where men and women, with unique expertise, racked wines, and then turned, disgorged, corked and labeled bottles, exported worldwide.

See pictures of Ackerman

 

Taking on the world !

Jean-Baptiste Ackerman succeeded in making Royal, his star brand, a reference recognized world-wide. As a result, bottles of Ackerman fine sparkling wine were served at prestigious dinner tables at home and abroad.

His son, Louis-Ferdinand, who took over the reins of the house at the end of the 1860s, pursued his father’s initiative and benefited from the strong development of international trade, thereby further promoting the colors of the House bearing his name. From the 1870s through to the 1910s, Maison Ackerman continued its rise to fame.

Thanks to Jean-Baptiste, his son was able to count upon a highly developed network of loyal customers and brand ambassadors. Hence Maison Ackerman’s range of products obtained unquestionable recognition.

Being seen, an important strategy

If Maison Ackerman stood out from the very start due to its winemaking innovations, it also made its mark in a domain that became progressively important throughout the 19th century: advertising.

With his usual flair, Jean-Baptiste immediately identified advertising as an essential means of informing the general public about his wines and his House. His efforts initially focused on the French and British press. The first adverts appeared in French newspapers in 1836, when Jean-Baptiste elaborated his first fine sparkling wine that won an award two years later in Angers.

Our House is keen on preserving and perpetuating these values of perseverance and generosity dear to Jean-Baptiste Ackerman and his successors, from vine-growing through to wine sales. We owe our high standard of quality to the daily implication and passion of our growers, staff and partners.

 

 

Boasting a rich exceptional patrimony, Maison Ackerman is a historic wine house which launched the production of fine sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. But it is also a company of the 21st century that is looking towards the future. Maison Ackerman has not forgotten its Saumur roots and the vital elements bringing about its longevity and prosperity: wine-growers, employees and clients.