Le Style Iconique — à Travers la Lentille
Iconic Style — Through the Lens, Autumn
B. Stuyvesant Champagne
Look no further than the home page of Marvina Robinson’s B. Stuyvesant Champagne and you’ll understand her personal and professional philosophy behind the brand. Over a subtle image of a French vineyard lies this quote from the iconic American humorist Mark Twain, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
After discovering Robinson and her business through a New York Times Sunday Style interview, we reached out to the entrepreneur/champagne purveyor ourselves to find out how she’s developing her growing enterprise and to share our love of this oh-so-French libation. As Robinson tells it, her love of champagne goes back to her days as a college student, scraping together enough money with friends to buy a bottle of Moet & Chandon White Star. Although her career path initially took her from her native Brooklyn to Wall Street in Manhattan, Robinson’s passion for champagne never waned. Finally, in early 2020, Robinson’s dream of creating and selling her own champagne became reality.
“When I started this business with the idea of having a tasting room, I decided I didn’t want to feature other champagnes,” Robinson shares. “If I was going to do this, I wanted my own house brand. I knew I could create my own. Instead of seeking out investors, I funded it myself. Why would I pay for my house brand when I could create it?”
Developing and marketing her brand has been a true labor of love for Robinson, albeit a daunting one at times. One of the first tasks was to settle on a vineyard/producer in France who matched her tastes and her goals for herself and her clientele.
“It would have been easier to launch a sparkling wine made here in the States, but I knew I wanted it to be a true champagne therefore we naturally focused on France,” Robinson shares. “It took a lot of investigating and I did a lot of reading up on the process. It was exactly like finding a needle in the haystack!”
Her chosen vineyard spans the Ardre Valley to the Aisne by way of the Marne Valley in Epernay, the heart of France’s champagne-producing area. With quarterly visits to France, Robinson keeps her hand in the entire process, while relying on local French winemaking experts to work their magic exclusively by hand.
Robinson’s inventory includes her favorite bruts, as well as rosés. They’re available through her website and at scheduled champagne tasting events at her company’s headquarters at the Navy Yards in Brooklyn. (Visit her website for more information on tasting events.**) To enjoy an impromptu tasting event ourselves, Folie ordered the Grande Réserve Brut and the Rosé Prestige. The order arrived quickly, was packaged beautifully, and even included a recipe card for a lovely champagne cocktail and a “How To Open” checklist for cracking into your bottles safely and in the classic manner. ***
“We try to give people three things when they order our products,” says Robinson, “a bottle of quality champagne, our card with steps on how to properly open the bottle, and a cocktail recipe using champagne and other ingredients for those who prefer a champagne specialty drink.”
Robinson’s endeavors will soon include an expanded offering of champagne-infused truffles made with New York chocolatier Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, as well as stemware from her own Anivram Dining Collection. Find her champagnes here in the States and in London, with future plans for expansion in France.
Here at Folie à Trois our hats are off to Robinson, her B. Stuyvesant team in New York and in France, and most certainly to her success in creating delightful champagnes for any event, any time! To Marvina!