This is the English version of my wine column at Forbes Japan. The Japanese version is found here.
Legrand Filles et Fils, a legendary wine shop in Paris
In the center of Paris, near the Louvre and the Opera, there is a well-established wine shop known as Legrand Filles et Fils. Founded in 1880, it began as a grocery store (épicerie). Even today, high-class food, including sweets and preserved foods, is on display and the nostalgic sales floor is the same as when the store opened.
Located on the corner of the Galerie Vivienne, a beautiful passage, the store stocks over 10,000 wines including those from notable producers and rare wines.
Legrand has built a relationship of trust with producers over its long history and created a wine culture in Paris. Gérard Sibourd-Baudry, CEO says, "Legrand is a special place where wine lovers in Paris gather. Wine is not just a commodity but also embodies culture and sensibility."
Gérard had been a co-owner of Legrand since 2000 and is also involved in its management. He is a charismatic wine merchant with a broad network of producers.
Wines are now made all over the world, but France is still one of the biggest wine producing countries and a role model for certain wine styles. As is in such a leading wine country, Legrand not only sells wine but also discovers producers responsible for the next age, sometimes offers them advice, and is taking steps with them to produce better wines.
A famous example is Champagne Jacques Selosse. This is currently one of the most sought-after wines because of its high popularity worldwide. Legrand has had a good relationship with this producer since Anselme Selosse took over from his father, Jacques, in the 1980s.
Realizing his potential, Legrand has supported Anselme since he was unknown. It was, for example, third-generation owner Lucien Legrand who advised him - at a time when dosage was high and somewhat sweet Champagne was popular - to reduce the dosage level to create the Extra Brut which is becoming popular currently. This, later, formed the foundation for the creation of V.O., a non dosage (no added sugar) Cuvée. Now, Anselme himself has become a significant influence on the succeeding producers.
Japan's Nakashima Co., Ltd. has been the parent company of Legrand since 2013. According to Gérard, when choosing a partner, it was important to find one that understood Legrand's history and philosophy.
Currently, it is possible to order wine directly from the Paris store from within Japan.
Legrand Filles et Fils
Address: 1, Rue de la Banque, 75002, Paris Opening hours：Monday 11am-7pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-7.30pm