Jean B Jaunay | François M Jaunay | Louis B Jaunay | Frank C Jaunay | Robert JC Jaunay | Frank JC Jaunay

Louis Brunet Jaunay 1816–1887

lbjA small marque The story of Louis Brunet Jaunay 3

His holdings at Aÿ should have given Louis Brunet an outstanding source of top quality grapes independent of the vignerons. In normal business practice this would have been considered a very astute, if un-champagne like, move. Unfortunately this investment was also to play a role in the demise of L Jaunay & Co. as the disease, phylloxera, had arrived from California and was threatening to devastate the vineyards of Champagne in the late 1880s. Strangely enough the phylloxera blight did not arrive until late in the century but the vineyards had to cope with a new disease which arrived with the phylloxera free vines from the United States. Planosphora viticola, or plain mildew was imported with the new stock and reached the Champagne area in 1885 and while not as devastating as phylloxera was to be, it certainly took its toll on the growers of the day.

The short Franco-Prussian War from 19 July to the surrender of Napoléon III and the army on 2 September and the final lifting of the siege on Paris by its capitulation in the following January was not witnessed by Annie who died in April 1870 at the age of 47 years. Louis Brunet wrote to his sister in June 1871 after a business trip to Germany and reported on the repatriation of French prisoners of war and the associated German victory celebrations as the occupying troops came home following the implementation of the severe treaty terms imposed on the country which saw the neighbouring Alsace and Lorraine districts lost to Germany. The whole of France was in mourning over the humiliation and citizens corresponded in black bordered paper.

After Anne's death in April 1870 from of breast cancer, Louis sold Association Vinicole de Champagne and formally founded his own House, L Jaunay & Co, which he established in rue de la Justice at Reims while he lived in 10 rue de la Grue.

In his final years, Louis almost lost his sight to cataracts. An operation at Metz was unsuccessful. He spent several winters at Nérac in the warmer south-west region of France.

Louis Brunet [pictured in 1868] died at the Krug home, 1 rue Coquebert on 9 March 1887 shortly after handing control of the business to his elder son, Frank, who had married within the last six years and thus fulfilled his father's requirement and had joined the company in a management role.

Both sons migrated to Australia. The younger, leading the way and living in Melbourne, Sydney and Amberley and Frank Cunningham followed in 1894 to South Australia.


Adapted and updated from: Graham Jaunay, Première Qualité. The story of the Jaunay family in the 19th century, Adelaide 1994

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