History permeates every facet of Champagne Henriot’s business. The winery was founded in 1808 by Appoline Henriot in memory of her late husband with whom she had shared an undying passion for champagne. Whether it was part of her intention or not, she laid the foundation for a wine dynasty that continues to share her and her husband’s passion for the most sophisticated of wines to this day.
“The vineyard was small and unassuming but soon came to be known for the high quality of its sparkling wines,” says President Gilles de Larouzière. “Back then, the winery acquired additional vineyards in the best Grand Cru Chardonnay region through marriage and in the 19th century scaled the dizzying heights of fashionable society as an official supplier to several European royal courts, including that of Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary and his wife Sissi as well as the Dutch royal family.”
Today, Champagne Henriot, a very famous name of Champagne, makes the choice of controlled volumes to preserve the quality of its wine and the pleasure of its customers. “We are best known for the high proportion of chardonnay grapes in our champagnes, which lends the wines their refined elegance,” says Mr. de Larouzière. “Our signature wine is our Champagne Brut Souverain which features a precise balance of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Its distinctively aromatic expression and long finish make it a perfect aperitif champagne.”
But the banner of Henriot is its Blanc de Blancs. Traditionally made only with chardonnay grapes, the complex aromas and mineral notes of the Henriot Blanc de Blancs perfectly embody the qualities of the finest Grand Crus vineyards. Champagne Henriot also produces several vintage cuvées made with the grapes from exceptional harvests.
“Our prestige cuvée is the 2005 Cuvée Hemera, which is made from the fruit of an exceptional harvest, blended with six iconic Grand Crus Champagnes to create one of the highlights in our portfolio,” says Mr. de Larouzière. An even more exclusive experience is to be had with Cuvée 38, a perpetual cuvée that was first started in 1990.
We are best known for the high proportion of chardonnay grapes in our champagnes, which lends the wines their refined elegance. Gilles de LarouzièrePresident
“A perpetual cuvée is added to each year with a specially selected blend of wines from just four Grand Crus vineyards,” explains Mr. de Larouzière. “The first wine produced by this cuvée was bottled in 2009 and put on sale in 2014. To reflect the exclusive nature of this very special wine, it is only produced in magnum bottles in a limited edition of just 1,000 bottles each year.”
Unsurprisingly, Henriot champagnes are not sold in supermarkets. “We distribute our superior products via selected hotels and restaurants as well as exclusive wine merchants,” notes Mr. de Larouzière. “Sampling our champagnes is an exceptional experience, and the setting and advice accompanying them should reflect this.”
Henriot Champagnes travel well and are sold worldwide. “The high end of the champagne market is a very international market, which is why we have built a significant export presence,” adds Mr. de Larouzière. “We have a good and selective presence worldwide: Besides Europe, Japan, the USA and South Asia represent very dynamic and interesting export markets for us.”
Mr. de Larouzière heads up Champagne Henriot in the eighth generation. As well as looking back on the achievements of the past, he is very much focused on the future. “Competition is intense in the sparkling wine market but if a champagne house can ensure the quality of its wines and build up a sufficient international presence, then it can look to the future with confidence,” he insists. “That is why quality is always our top priority. We want to celebrate that with our customers.”