Attending producer: Rita Jammet
The iconic La Caravelle Restaurant, New York City, 1960 – 2004, owned by André and Rita Jammet, introduced its first Champagne Brut Cuvée in 1997. After the closing of the restaurant in 2004, the clients were asking for La Caravelle Champagne, prompting Rita to begin introducing the Champagne to stores and restaurants. In 2009, Rita introduced a new and expanded line, adding the Rosé and the Blanc de Blancs, all elaborated by De Castellane in Epernay, Champagne. Reflecting the spirit of La Caravelle restaurant, this Champagne line is classic with a modern sensibility. André and Rita’s vision for the La Caravelle Champagne line has always been – and continues to be - that of a high quality product, yet a great value, and a very food-friendly, approachable flavor profile that could also pair easily with a great range of global cuisines.
The blending of proprietary wines is actually a process that dates back to the late 1700s, when the Boeuf à la Mode was one of only a few restaurants in Paris, or all of France, for that matter (Boeuf à la Mode was established by André Jammet's ancestors in 1792). Bordeaux wines were made and then stored in casks before being painstakingly transported to La Halle aux Vins in Paris, a huge wholesale wine market. (Today, those wines would be considered as equals to the wines of a great chateau). Restaurateurs and private chefs would bring their own bottles to the casks (or barrels) of La Halle, and return with wines that had been blended by the negociants on site. Yhey also returned with great stories. Many truly relished their time at the barrel.
André's family participated in the blending of wines for years when they owned one of Paris' finest hotels: Le Bristol. As a small boy, André would often tag along his father to various vineyards, watching the process of selection, bottling, labeling and so forth, and listen to the stories of great wines from other times. At Le Bristol, the House wines were selected and shipped by La Mission Haut-Brion, in part because André's father Hippolyte – the founder of Le Bristol Hotel - was the godchild of La Mission Haut-Brion owner, Mrs. Woltner.
These memories serve as the foundation for the Jammets’ desire to create their own La Caravelle line of fine wines and even more importantly André and Rita’s absolute love of Champagne wine and region. They are able to work with the finest wines, thanks to long-standing, close relationships with vineyard owners and winemakers. As André and Rita Jammet carry on a proud family tradition of creating proprietary wines, they honor the spirit of their former La Caravelle New York restaurant. André is proud to be a Chevalier du Tastevin as well.
Most recently, Rita was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite Agricole in June 2019 in NYC by Madame La Consule Générale de France, Anne-Claire Lengendre. This nomination recognizes her contribution to French gastronomy, Champagne, and wines with La Caravelle restaurant and Champagne.