Kyla Kirkpatrick, CEO of Emperor, the largest online retailer for Champagne in Australia shares her journey with The Carousel.
I fell in love with Champagne in 2005 after reading an article on Napoleon Bonaparte and his connection with the Champagne region. After reading this article, I was intrigued. My curiosity had peeked. So, I decided I would order a book on champagne. I devoured it. I ordered my next. I devoured it. And so on, until I had read every book there was to read on the history of the region and then I decided to pen a letter to a gentleman who had written my favourite book. I supposed I didn’t really expect him to write back – but he did and that changed my life forever.
I gave up life as I had known it and bought a one-way ticket to Paris in 2005. I divided my time between Paris and Champagne exploring my new life and flowing where the journey took me – life in Paris was fascinating. There is no degree you can do in Champagne, so I just immersed myself in the region, worked closely with the winemakers and asked a lot of questions to learn my craft.
After 8 months in the vineyards I took a role with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and was trained whilst living in Champagne. What more could any girl want? Drinking champagne from 9am to 9am with some of the greatest champagne brands in the world. I absorbed the history, the stories and the grandeur of the region.
What I realised when I was in Champagne however, was that Champagne is not just about big glitzy soirees, yacht parties and polo; it’s about family, it’s about viticulture and it’s about time. Champagne is the most complicated wine on the planet and is produced in one of the most challenging regions climatically in the world. But it’s not just the wine that is incredible, it’s the history of the region. There is history in every glass.
There are actually about 5000 Champagne houses and yet we have under 200 of these gems arriving in Champagne. There are cult producers now in Champagne that are so highly sort after that customers around the world literally fight over these bottles. This is where we specialise. My 15 years of working in the Champagne industry has allowed me to form many close relationships with champenois and we have earned prized allocations as a result.
After leaving LVMH, I began presenting independently as The Champagne Dame in 2008 and it just went wild. People shared my passion for this incredible wine and very soon, every class I hosted was fully booked. My tours to France were booked out years in advance. I wanted to reach more people so the idea of Emperor was born.
Emperor is now the largest online retailer for Champagne in Australia providing champagne lovers with the broadest range of high-quality artisanal Champagnes possible. Finally, customers across Australia had access to those rare, cult Champagne producers that people literally fight over for access to tiny quantities of stock!
Emperor has been an enormous challenge, yet very rewarding at the same time. I put my life savings, all my energy and every ounce of my passion into it. After launch in 2017, we were rapidly receiving praise from customers around Australia, we sold $200,000 worth of Champagne in the first seven weeks. I attracted the best team of Champagne experts from Australia and beyond to get behind the business. The future looks bright and Champagne lovers are finally being serviced the way they want to be serviced; with excellence!
EmperorChampagne.com.au launched in November 2017 after two years of conceptualisation, thought and planning. Emperor is Australia’s home of Champagne with the largest selection of Champagne’s available to purchase anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
Emperor stocks a broad range of high quality, artisanal, organic, biodynamic and prestigious champagnes each being luxury wrapped and shipped to customers in every corner of Australia.
Emperor stocks the best champagnes from the Grand Marques to growers with every bottle vetted by our team of experts. We store each bottle within our state-of-the-art climate-controlled cellars in Victoria and ship nation-wide with every single bottle luxury wrapped without charge. We service the Champagne connoisseurs and beginners alike.
At Emperor we don’t separate the story of the vineyard or the families from the wine. When sommeliers list champagnes on our site they not only take into account the quality of the champagne but also the ethics, story and history of the maison. We mirror these values at Emperor. We do not buy parallel stock. We do not put price pressure on vineyard partners. We do not list champagnes as loss leaders and we don’t not engage in dirty marketing tactics. Our focus is on servicing our Champagne lovers of Australia whilst protecting the families of Champagne. We are a family business which supports the families of Champagne.
Emperor opens its first Asian office in Singapore with the expansion of its Champagne Club as it rolls out through Asia and then onto America.
Your Chance To Be Part Of Emperor’s Business
Emperor has just opened a crowd funded capital raise to facilitate its expansion into Asia. You can participate in one of the most exciting business launches in the Champagne Region by clicking here. www.equitise.com
The Carousel would like to thank Kyla Kirkpatrick for sharing her journey.