Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Story of La Maison Guilhem

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

In the heart of The Hague, La Maison Guilhem stands as a mark of elegance and sophistication. Established in 2021 by Managing Director Marinette Diafouka, this boutique wine and champagne house has quickly become synonymous with the finest offerings from the Occitanie region of Southern France. However, what truly sets La Maison Guilhem apart is its own brand of champagnes, the exquisite grand cru MCMXXV, crafted in collaboration with renowned environmental-friendly producer Jean-Claude Mouzon from Verzenay, France.

Madame Diafouka shares, “La Maison Guilhem is born out of my passion for exceptional products, reflecting unique craftsmanship passing down from generations to generations, and exclusive lifestyle. The reference to ‘Guilhem’ is rooted in my childhood in the Occitanie region, in the South of France, nearby the inspiring city of Montpellier which was created in 989 by the distinguished and ambitious ‘Guilhem’ dynasty. After several years passed in Occitanie, my parents moved out further north to the beautiful Champagne region. Before I left France in the 2000s’ to live in London for more than a decade and then settle in Den Haag, I gradually realised that my passion and taste for wines and champagne had been firmly established due to the places I lived in, and most importantly the incredible people I had met on the way.”

MCMXXV, derived from the Roman numerals for 1925, pays homage to the timeless charm and joie de vivre of the Roaring Twenties. It was a period marked by profound social, cultural, and artistic transformations, with the International Exhibition held in Paris serving as a catalyst for the global dissemination of Art Deco aesthetics.

Madame Diafouka recalls, “I started to value that appreciating wines and champagne in good company and with temperance was about enjoying present moments and recalling pleasant memories. To this day, I can for example remember the emotions my husband and I felt when we opened in April 2012 a bottle of vintage champagne from 1986 that had been with us for so many years throughout our numerous moves, from France to the United Kingdom.”

At the heart of MCMXXV lies a dedication to quality and craftsmanship. La Maison Guilhem offers two exquisite variations of this champagne: a grand cru vintage blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, and a rare grand cru Blanc de Blancs chardonnay.

Madame Diafouka emphasizes, “Beyond the values our brand MCMXXV represents, our champagnes are classified as ‘grand cru’ elaborated by the best environmental-friendly producers in Verzenay, France. I would like to point out that the vast majority of champagnes, including the most popular brands worldwide, are not ‘grand cru’, unlike Champagne MCMXXV. My focus is on delivering to my customers products of exceptional quality. My signature champagne is an extra brut (i.e., low in sugar) MCMXXV 2015 vintage (also referred to as millésime), harmoniously blending 20% of pinot noir and 80% of chardonnay. The quantity of bottles produced for this Champagne MCMXXV 2015 millésime is limited and each bottle is therefore uniquely numbered.”

Yet, La Maison Guilhem serves as a modern-day patron of the arts, embracing a philosophy that values culture and creativity as integral components of a rich and fulfilling life. Through partnerships with talented artists and cultural institutions, La Maison Guilhem actively promotes cultural events and collaborates on the creation of exclusive artworks inspired by the spirit of MCMXXV.

La Maison Guilhem

Madame Diafouka explains, “Every year, we take part in the wine tastings organised by the Rotary International Club of The Hague. We also have partnerships around targeted events fitting our philosophy. We have partnered up with the jewellery Spadafora for their spring launch in Den Haag earlier this year. Through our unique relationship with well-established and international art gallery ‘Chiefs and Spirits’ located in Den Haag, we host tasting events and promote arts and culture. Very directly, La Maison Guilhem works with and supports several artists, currently collaborating with French-born artist Marc Duran and Guinea-born artist Myriam Soufiane who have decorated our limited-edition champagne boxsets.”

In a world where mass production often overshadows artisanal craftsmanship, La Maison Guilhem stands close to tradition and excellence. With its commitment to quality, sustainability, and the celebration of artistry, it continues to captivate connoisseurs and aficionados alike, inviting them to indulge in a taste of luxury and sophistication unlike any other.

For those eager to experience the luxury of La Maison Guilhem, Marinette Diafouka notes, “While our website [www.lamaisonguilhem.com](http://www.lamaisonguilhem.com) is being finalised, all customers can contact me directly at mdiafouka@gmail.com to purchase our wines and champagnes and to be invited to our regular tastings organised in Den Haag or elsewhere. My philosophy is to build personalised and long-term relationships with our customers. MCMXXV symbolises a lifestyle, the conscious choice and desire to celebrate everyday joys and victories.”

Looking ahead, Marinette is optimistic about the future, “We anticipate that 2025 will be a great year for Champagne MCMXXV and we are planning several events in the Netherlands and internationally to celebrate 100 years of art deco. In addition to making new tastes of champagnes MCMXXV available to our customers in the coming months, we aim to secure some solid partnerships with prominent and international art fairs to strengthen our ambition to support arts and culture.”

Contacts directly mdiafouka@gmail.com

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