Founded in 1811, the year of the comet, Maison Ackerman was born under a lucky star, as it was also the date of a highly exceptional vintage. We owe the name of our House to Jean-Baptiste Ackerman. Jean-Baptiste was a young, intrepid, curious and talented man from Brussels. He settled in Saumur, where the Thouet throws itself into the Loire - the chief transport route of goods (wine and tuffeau stone) in France at the time. He grew new roots along the banks of this river and its nearby troglodyte caves. After many experiments, he found the ideal location to make the first fine sparkling wines of Saumur. His efforts were rewarded at the Industrial Exposition of Angers in 1838 and then the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1855, where his wines won a gold medal. A true love story was born first of all between Jean-Baptiste and Saumur and then between Jean-Baptiste and a lady from Saumur, Emilie Laurance, whom he married in 1829. Louis-Ferdinand was born from their union and replaced his father at the company in 1866. Thanks to him, the house became famous worldwide with the emblematic brand, la cuvée Royal.
Unique expertise from the vineyard through to blending
In the 1850s, Maison Ackerman-Laurance became the leading house in fine Loire Valley sparkling wines. As a result, Jean Baptiste Ackerman’s son, Louis-Ferdinand, joined the family company. Together, they focused on the production and the sales of sparkling wines for the English market, by creating a legendary brand: Royal. In 1863, Jean-Baptiste handed the reins of the house over to his son, who took advantage of the opening up of world trade to develop the family company via advertising campaigns that were innovative at the time. He also created new brands and established a solid network of ambassadors and loyal customers worldwide. Thanks to him, the name and the wines of Maison Ackerman-Laurance were internationally recognized.
The Ackerman + Fontevraud artists’ residency
Firmly rooted in its territory, Maison Ackerman also fully invests in the development of tourism and the enhancement of heritage. It is the proud owner of a unique architectural gem - troglodyte caves – currently used to display temporary exhibitions, bringing together wine, caves and experimental creations, evoking Land Art. Since 2009, Maison Ackerman has been supporting contemporary art, in particular since 2014, with the inception of an artists’ residency: Ackerman + Fontevraud. This residency was brought about by a common will shared by Maison Ackerman and the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud of launching a first of its kind project based upon the following values: the conservation of the region’s rich heritage, the active participation in community life, the promotion of vine-growing culture, but most especially the advancement and the democratization of art, in all its forms (contemporary art, sculptural art, musical art, gastronomic art, winemaking art…). Going a step further and thinking bigger in view of surprising the public, so it can experience and share unexpected emotions. The Ackerman + Fontevraud artists’ residency allows each artist to make use of this unique creative space in view of installing a tailor-made exhibition, sublimating the location, and emphasizing the magic of the Ackerman caves, the tallest in the region. From 32 propositions, the jury, made up of personalities from the world of art, selected the empirical project of the Chapuisat brothers, two renowned contemporary artists from Switzerland.
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