A Day in The Life of Denis Bunner, Deputy Chef de Cave at Bollinger
8 April 2021
Imagine being able to taste Bollinger Champagne 4 times every single day, most people's dream! For Denis Bunner, Deputy Chef de Cave at Bollinger, that dream is a working day reality. But it isn't all Champagne sipping heaven, the working day is long, intense and jam packed with tastings, meetings and projects. Discover exactly what a typical day looks like for the Deputy Chef de Cave at Bollinger.
My alarm goes off at...
My alarm goes off at 6 am. I start the day by playing music in the living room, and on occasion, I sometimes practice yoga to ground myself. Then perhaps a coffee, if I know that the day ahead will be intense!
My commute is...
I live in Reims in front of a beautiful park; being in contact with nature is essential for me, so I appreciate living in a beautiful green space. Depending on the day, my commute could be via car or train; both take approximately 25 minutes to reach Bollinger in Ay. Reims is also serviced by the TGV, so when I need to travel, I can reach CDG in just 30 minutes.
I'm responsible for
I'm responsible for innovation and wine communication, and more widely, everything that concerns the taste of the Bollinger Champagnes! I taste up to four times a day for blending, quality control, trials or public relation.
My typical day...
I like to compare my job with a high-level sport; it's so intense! I arrive at Bollinger around 7.30, and I quickly check my email. At 8 am, I have my first meeting with my colleagues around a coffee to discuss the running projects, either with the vineyard manager and his team, with the wine team or the production manager. At around 10 am, I have a meeting with the commercial and marketing team about the next cuvée launches. Finally, my day properly starts at 11 am. I go to the laboratory for the first tasting, where I always see our cellar master, Gilles Descotes, who usually comes out of a board meeting! I usually take a good break for lunch. I then go to the gym for about 1 hour and eat at around 1.30 pm. I'm back to work at 2 pm to check my emails for the second time. The afternoon is generally dedicated to working on projects before the second tasting of the day at 4 pm. Typically, those tastings are about studies we make around the Bollinger taste and craftsmanship. After this, I often have another tasting with visitors (when that was possible again!) and my workday finishes around 7 o'clock. In the evening, if I still have the energy, I go for a mountain bike ride.
My most memorable moment...
When I had the privilege to taste a magnum of Bollinger Vintage 1905. The wine was perfect and still had pressure inside! It was incredible; I was so astonished by the taste, that I came out of the cellar to share this incredible wine with my colleagues!
What I am most proud of...
It was in 2016 for the inauguration of the two wine libraries at Bollinger when I co-hosted the best Champagne experts from around the world! It was so magical to share this moment with them. It was the result of 4 years of work.
What would your Plan B have been?
I had no plan B! I always knew what I wanted to do.