Exclusive Interview with Mr Thomas Lombard, CEO of Champagne Lombard

Mr Thomas Lombard

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

Nestled within the heart of the French Champagne region lies the heritage-driven and illustrious Champagne Lombard. Mr Thomas Lombard, the torchbearer of Maison Lombard, plans to introduce an inspiring vision to the distinguished Champagne house, redefining its trajectory with an innovative and grower-oriented philosophy.

As the fourth-generation heir, his narrative is a compelling tale of bridging heritage with contemporary innovation. From the vines to the delicate bubbles in each bottle, Mr. Lombard’s leadership carries forth a narrative that unites the contemporary world with the timeless elegance of the Champagne Lombard legacy.

We had the opportunity to interview Mr Thomas Lombard as he shared more about the history behind his champagne house and what are his plans for the future moving forward!

Luxe Society Asia: Could you share a little bit about yourself and Champagne Lombard’s background?

My name is Thomas, I am 30 years old. I am the 4th generation owner of the House and have been managing it since 2020. I joined the House in 2017 with an advanced Master’s degree in international wine knowledge and trade and with many new ideas on how to expand the brand internationally.

Lombard was a discreet, rather traditional brand and present only mainly on the French market. Today we offer a range of great terroir champagnes, elaborated for gastronomy. By 2022, we have shipped over 300,000 bottles to 25 countries.

Between 2017 and 2019, I very quickly understood the workings of the Champagne business and I took charge rather seamlessly in 2020. I consider myself to be very lucky to be able to count on the support of my father and the entire House team. My father has always given me a lot of autonomy and I always worked very well with him- often giving each other positive feedback on our ideas on how we can expand the brand.

Luxe Society Asia: Champagne Lombard has a rich history that dates back to 1925. Could you share some insights into the journey of your family’s champagne house and how it has evolved over the years?

I would say that each generation has applied a strategy specific to its economic context. My father created the Lombard brand in 2001 (my great-grandfather was called Robert Andrieu) and it was the first time that we were offering champagnes with an eponymous brand. From then on, we never stopped improving our wines.

Luxe Society Asia: What is unique about the terroir and vineyards where Champagne Lombard’s grapes are grown?

Each terroir is unique by essence since each offers grapes from an inimitable combination of soil type, exposure, weather and viticultural work: this is what we call “Terroir”.

Signature: these are blended champagnes, “signed” by our cellar manager, made exclusively in Extra Brut or Brut Nature. It’s an initiation into our Terroir universe. Terroir: it is the heart of philosophy. These are single-village or single plot cuvées, always Brut Nature. In summary: 1 terroir, 1 grape variety, 1 vintage. Vintage: this is the prestigious universe of the House composed only of the great vintages of Champagne.

Champagne Lombard

Luxe Society Asia: What sustainable practices has your brand adopted throughout its champagne-making processes?

Right after my father, Thierry Lombard bought vines on the Montagne de Reims Ouest: 5.5 hectares mainly of Premier Cru (Villedommange, Pargny-les-Reims, Jouy-Les-Reims, Coulommesla- Montagne and Vrigny), he and Laurent Vaillant, then Vineyard Director, began the first tests of grassing.

In 2012, the House started mechanical tillage of the soil in order to combat the issue of lowering yields – widely considered as the toughest step when crossing over to organic farming. Fast forward 7 years later, organic conversion became a reality, leading to the first organic certified harvest in 2022. Convinced by the ecological sense of the approach, the House is also developing its organic supply in with its wine growing partners: organic (including on-going conversion) represents today 20% of the House’s supply.

Luxe Society Asia: What do you do to maintain the high standards associated with Champagne Lombard?

It is a logic of constant improvement. The vineyard relationship requires special attention: the quality of our grapes is a priority. I had to be attentive to our successes and failures, plan corrective actions, development and investment projects on the distribution of our product, communication with our teams and employees, technical installations of equipment for our vineyards and recruiting the right people for our company.

Luxe Society Asia: In today’s global market, which regions or countries are the most significant for Champagne Lombard’s exports, and how do you adapt to different consumer preferences worldwide?

The UK is a very important historical market for us. The Nordic countries, the United States and Italy have been particularly dynamic over the last 3 years. We do not adapt our winemaking or our packaging by country but we learn to understand culinary cultures to be able to recommend the cuvées from our range that will be best suited for the local cuisine.

Luxe Society Asia: What are some of the challenges and opportunities you see for your brand in the coming years?

We have just launched an e-commerce site to market our single-plot cuvées to individuals. It’s a very difficult clientele to build as we must gain the trust and support of a clientele that is already very “courted” on e-commerce. Our advantage is that we offer very different cuvées, but the price category that we are targeting must be accompanied by a legitimization process of the brand which will take time and creative resources to succeed.

Alongside that, we are preparing the 100th anniversary of the House in 2025 with a Pop store in Paris. We also have work projects in the pipeline to grow the company: a cellar for our single-plot winemaking and a reception building to offer on-ground visiting experiences to our private customers.

Luxe Society Asia: As a family-run champagne house, what are the values and traditions that you hold dear and aim to pass down to future generations of the Lombard family?

Passion and humility are very important values for work linked to the land.
In my opinion, there is a lot of luck in success, we must not fall into arrogance. We must remain open, caring and share knowledge with those who are interested in our beautiful region.

Champagne Lombard products are available online via Bottles and Bottles‘s website.

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