Five Minutes With Matthew Massey- Creator of Champagne Madame Zéro

by Leean Vargas on December 16, 2023 in Food+Drink, Drink,

Matthew Massey grew up a beach baby on Galveston Island. His family’s beach house was simple. It didn’t even have air conditioning until he turned 13. Even though he didn’t have much in terms of financial resources, he was always surrounded by family and love.

Photo courtesy Matthew Massey.

It was during those formative years living on the Texas island that he found his path into the world of hospitality. He worked tirelessly to save up for his very first vehicle, a milestone that meant a lot to him. While working hard in restaurants, saving up for his first car, he fell in love with hospitality and wine. That in return really stimulated a pursuit of his passion.

Texas Lifestyle Magazine recently caught up with Matthew Massey, founder of Champagne Madame Zéro, an “extra brut” champagne focused on selectivity, transparency and quality, to talk about what makes this unique bubbly so special.

How did you get started in the champagne business? 

After graduating college, I pursued a career in international oil and gas. I decided that with the travels that came with my job, I would continue to pursue my passion: the world of wine. Champagne has always been one of my favorite beverages, and I decided to explore the singularity of each in the 319 champagne villages. I  learned to understand champagne on a technical level. As a result of my exploration, I realized the market needed a champagne that was unique, special, and without all the additives in it. I partnered with a select grower and winemaker to make something new for the market. 

Photo courtesy Matthew Massey.

What inspired you to create Madame Zéro? 

As a fitness and nutrition focused person, I really value living a balanced lifestyle. I decided that there was really a need for creating something that I, as well as other like-minded people, could enjoy, which meant creating a champagne without the additives and less sugar. A combination of extended aging and using beautifully grown fruit allows Madame Zéro to not need the added sugar typically found in champagne. 

Photo courtesy Matthew Massey.

What makes Madame Zéro different from other champagnes?

All fruit that we grow is from one village, the iconic village of Vertus in the champagne region of France, and derived from 47 year old vines. We grow beautiful chardonnay, so we focus on singularity, and aging four times longer than traditional champagne so we don’t need the added sugars normally found in champagne to achieve balance like many of the large brands. We are the first champagne house to include nutrition facts on the label out of France. Each of these components are not normal in the champagne industry, so Madame Zéro is really unique in that way. 

Photo courtesy Matthew Massey.

How did you come up with the design of each bottle? 

From the very beginning, everything about this project has been all about the details. I wanted to get every detail right from the cuvee to the exterior package.  The lace embedded is to represent the fine, delicate, precise bubbles the champagne is composed of. The splatter on both the Rosé and Blanc de Blancs represents the non-conforming style of being ultra low sugar, the extended aging, and focusing on singularity of a single village/grape. The modern madame cap that each bottle features has a woman with a mask. The inspiration here was that Madame Zéro is a modern day champagne, and anyone who consumes it is being selective. 

Photo courtesy Matthew Massey

Do you have any goals for Madame Zéro that you are still working to achieve? 

At this point, one of my main goals is to continue to grow into new markets, specifically across Texas and on the East Coast. We also have other future, unique releases in the pipeline. I want Madame Zéro to continue to grow its portfolio of beautifully crafted champagnes and be recognized as a brand for its unique components, yet uncompromising taste and style.

We hear you’re launching a new product, the Grand Vintage Mille. What can you tell us about it? 

This is a truly unique and special craft champagne. The name “Mille” means “a thousand” in French and is short for “Millesime”, which means “vintage”. This release is limited to only 1,000 bottles. The champagne is a beautiful expression of the finest plots of Vertus, composed of 85% chardonnay, 15% pinot noir, with nine full years aging. It yields an exceptionally well balanced cuvee, with notes of fresh peach, apricot, white raspberry, fresh lychee, lemon, and honeysuckle. It’s beautiful, balanced, complex and everything you desire in a vintage cuvee that can age beautifully for 20+ years.

The Grand Vintage Mille is a distinctive and beautiful champagne that’s reliant on the magic of time. When you age, wait, and create, and try something over the years, and finally get to the point of releasing it, it’s a rewarding process. This extended process really inspired me to ensure the packaging was equally as detailed. I worked with a designer in Belgium and a printer in France. With all the care that went into growing and picking the grapes by hand on the front end, I wanted the label to have an equal amount of care and for it to be applied by hand as the finishing process. It’s a very masculine champagne, so the branding has a masculine style. A strong metalized plating with all the letters filled-in make for a dignified look and feel. The detailed and elaborate execution makes for one of the most unique champagne packages on the market.


Cover photo courtesy Matthew Massey

Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.