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gentleman’s agreement Irish filmmaker's new champagne doc reveals how Bollinger get free James Bond plugs

'Heineken pays $45m for the James Bond association'

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Tony Laithwaite (left), maker of Queen Elizabeth’s sparkling wine, with filmmaker Frank Mannion

Tony Laithwaite (left), maker of Queen Elizabeth’s sparkling wine, with filmmaker Frank Mannion

Tony Laithwaite (left), maker of Queen Elizabeth’s sparkling wine, with filmmaker Frank Mannion

An Irish film director who has unveiled his debut movie about champagne reveals how Bollinger get free plugs in James Bonds movies because of a long standing ‘gentleman’s agreement’.

Sparkling: The Story of Champagne’ has just been released and examines the controversial theory that the English actually 'discovered' champagne decades before Dom Perignon exclaimed "I can taste the stars.”

“Bollinger became the drink of James Bond and has appeared in 15 movies including No Time to Die off the back of a gentleman’s agreement where no money changes hands - unlike Heineken which pays $45m for the association,”Carlow man Frank Mannion tells the Sunday World.

“The film features Stephen Fry and some big names from the world of champagne including Taittinger heiress Vitalie Taittinger, JAY Z's Armand de Brignac and even Brad Pitt's newly launched Fleur de Miraval,” adds Frank.

“The film also looks at the impact of climate change - as you know, the champagne region is becoming too hot, so the likes of Pommery and Taittinger have acquired vineyards in the south of England.

“We also look at the important role of female entrepreneurs in the champagne business from the Widow Clicquot to Lily Bollinger and Odette Pol Roger.

“We had exclusive access to the Queen’s vineyard at Windsor and it also features Limerickman Dermot Sugrue, the award-winning wine-maker at Wiston Estate.”

Frank admits the JAY Z connection to champagne intrigues him.

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Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC/MGM)

Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC/MGM)

Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC/MGM)

“We interviewed the septuagenarian Jean-Jacques Cattier, the founder and producer of Armand de Brignac, based in the pretty, sleepy village of Chigny Les Roses in the heart of the champagne region,” he explains.

“JAY Z first got in touch with him directly to request Ace of Spades for his video, Show Me What You Got, set in Monaco

“Cattier invoiced and JAY Z, the perfect gent, duly paid up, and it was shipped to Monaco...

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Then JAY Z arranged to come to Chigny Les Roses to check out Armand de Brignac, arriving by helicopter. Jean-Jacques organised a BBQ in his back garden. After the BBQ, Jay Z and Beyoncé flew off by private jet straight to Manchester for one of their concerts!

“A bit like Victor Kiam and that old Remington shaver commercial, JAY Z loved it so much, he bought the company!.”

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