The most famous varieties of champagne

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Champagne will always remain a symbol, if not of a holiday, then of a luxurious life. Let's see why we choose the 10 most famous brands of champagne, the most famous houses.

Widow Clicquot (Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin). It is the most famous brand of champagne in the world with a female name. At the beginning of the 19th century, a 27-year-old woman Madame Clicquot, widowed, inherited an unprepossessing wine estate from her husband. However, an energetic woman, nee Barb Nicole Ponsardin, was able to achieve unprecedented heights in her business. As a result, she bought the dungeons 18 kilometers long from the city and turned them into wine cellars. It was the Widow Clicquot who invented the methods of refining champagne to crystal transparency, which is still used by winemakers around the world. The Frenchwoman also came up with a wire bridle that is put on the cork - after all, the liquid in the bottle is under noticeable pressure, which is 3 times higher than that in a car tire. Clicquot's commercial streak also manifested itself in the fact that she was able to use even a space object as an ally. So, in 1811 a comet visited the solar system. This gave Clicquot an idea - she sent a batch of special wine to Russia that defeated Napoleon. On 10 thousand bottles of champagne from the same 1811 harvest, the tail of a comet was listed. This move marked the beginning of Clicquot's long and fruitful commercial relationship with the distant northern country. The woman lived for a long 88 years, but she bequeathed all her inheritance not to relatives who were indifferent to winemaking, but to a real fan of her business, her friend and manager Edward Verde. It was his descendants who continued the glorious path of the famous brand. Today, this brand is one of the most recognizable in the world; the Veuve Clicquot champagne is drunk today in 150 countries of the world. In Moscow, the simplest example of such a champagne Brut can be found for $ 80, but the "Grande Dame" variety is already 4 times more expensive. According to legend, the design of the orange brand label on a black bottle for this species was invented personally by Madame Clicquot herself. Today, the best designers such as Kerim Rashid are involved in the design of the brand. As a result, a bottle in an exclusive package can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Moet and Chandon (Moët @ Chandon). The brand's trademark is a black bow with a golden border, fastened under the neck of the bottle with a round red seal. This image, now recognizable everywhere, was invented in 1886 and has remained a permanent attribute of Moet @ Chandon branded products ever since. The company has been producing prestigious and well-known brands for 250 years. Since its inception, Moet @ Chandon has become one of the main suppliers to the royal courts. This champagne was loved by Louis XV, and later Napoleon Bonaparte periodically visited the wine-making estate, passing through Champagne. Prominent clients of Moet and Shandon were Thomas Jefferson and the English king Edward VII, who loved the drink so much that a servant with a couple of bottles in a basket constantly followed the monarch. Today Moet & Chandon has a special permission as a supplier of champagne for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The era of cinematography that came in the 20th century gave winemakers the opportunity to explore a new world. For almost twenty years, Moet and Chandon has been the official Champagne of the Golden Globe Awards. Not so long ago, there was a noisy action to choose the face of the champagne house. It was the Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson. Today Moet & Chandon is the largest champagne producer in the world. 30 million bottles are produced annually, which is twice the volume of the closest competitor - "Veuve Clicquot". Large circulation of products allows keeping very affordable prices for it. The main wines of the house are "Moet @ Chandon Imperial", produced since 1860 in honor of Napoleon (price in Moscow, depending on the harvest, $ 70-200) and "Moet @ Chandon Dom Perignon", an exclusive vintage champagne produced since 1936 ... The price of such a bottle starts at $ 250.

Dom Pérignon. The label in the form of a "shield" is known all over the world. Since 1936 "Moet & Chandon" has been producing exclusive vintage wine. Dom Pérignon is a brand named after the Benedictine monk Pierre Pérignon. This very famous person in winemaking lived in the 17th century. "Home" is an appeal to a clergyman in France. The French attribute to him the glory of the invention of a sparkling frothy drink. Before him, no one could think of how to turn an ordinary fermented wine into a new interesting drink. True, the British are challenging the palm. Most likely, the monk was not really the first to come up with the technology, but there is no doubt that it was he who was at the origins of the technology for the production of champagne, which in general has survived to this day. It was Pérignon who came up with the idea of ​​fermenting still wine a second time, picking up a mixture of white wines and keeping them in thick bottles, then corking them with a cork. Already at the age of thirty, Pierre Perignon became the head of the wine cellars of the Benedictine Abbey of Auvillier, announcing that he would create the best wine in the world. The presumptuous statement nevertheless turned out to be true. Soon rumors about the delicious fizzy drink of the monks reached Versailles. Wines from Dom Pérignon began to be supplied to the sun king himself, Louis XIV. The modern Dom Pérignon by Moet and Chandon is in keeping with the traditions established by a medieval monk who strives to create the best wine in the world. For this champagne is responsible for its quality; it does not need additional advertising. Nevertheless, the company does not stand still, not so long ago the famous designer Karl Lagerfeld worked on the brand's image. The promotion was such a success that the champagne reached new levels of popularity. The collaboration has become a model for wine branding, as well as a cult event in fashion and lifestyle. After all, Lagerfeld attracted Eva Herzigova and Claudia Schiffer to advertising champagne. The idea of ​​the action was the idea that the magical "Dom Perignon" liberates sexual fantasies. "Dom Pérignon" has three types - "Dom Pérignon", "Dom Pérignon Rose" and "Dom Perignon Oenotheque". The first one is the cheapest. Its price starts at $ 250. Other varieties are much more expensive. They are considered to be some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world. In Moscow, prices for such champagne start at $ 600.

Louis Roederer. And this brand is known all over the world for its "Crystal Louis Roederer" wine. Renowned critic Robert Parker does not hesitate to use epithets such as "stunning quality" and "luxury wine" to describe it. In Russia, this champagne is the most prestigious and most expensive. It is also called "the royal drink", because for the first time it was produced in 1876 especially for Alexander II. Until the revolution, Louis Röderer was the official wine supplier to the court of our emperor. About 2/3 of all products of this brand were sent to Russia. Champagne got its name "Kristal" because it was supplied for Alexander II in specially made crystal bottles. Today, the bottles are decorated in a "gold" style, the elegant script of the font and the monogram on the label are used. Thus, the association with the royal crown, sophistication, wealth and aristocracy is maintained. Unsurprisingly, this champagne is recognized worldwide as a luxury drink destined for leaders and winners. And the very policy of the champagne house "Louis Roederer" is distinguished by its independence and aristocracy. Despite numerous attempts to take over it by large corporations, this is perhaps the only house in Champagne that remains in family ownership. The value of the product was confirmed at a recent US auction. There, a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Rose from 2002 was sold for $ 12,000. The funds from that auction were used to support contemporary art. It is symbolic that this champagne itself, with its history, price and level of prestige, can already be considered not just wine, but also an object of high art. The champagne house produces quite a lot of products for a family business - up to 3 million bottles, although this is 10 times less than Moet and Chandon. But "Crystal Louis Roederer" is produced only half a million bottles all over the world. The prestige of the brand, together with the extraordinary quality and limited volume, determine the rather high price for champagne - the Louis Roederer Brut Premier brand will cost $ 150, and the famous "Crystal Louis Roederer", depending on the vintage, from $ 400 to $ 1,000.

Piper-Heidsieck. This wine is strongly associated with Hollywood. Almost from the very first Oscar ceremony, champagne has been accompanying this event. It was this drink that was favorite for Marilyn Monroe. There are many photographs left in which the star is captured with a glass of champagne in hand. And most often this wine turned out to be just Piper Heidsick. In 1965, this company was noted for the creation of the largest bottle of champagne in the world, with a height of 1 meter 82 centimeters, which just corresponded to the growth of the then popular American film actor Rex Harrison. The bottle was intended to celebrate Harrison's Oscar for My Fair Lady, in which he co-starred with Audrey Hepburn. The giant bottle contained 64 regular bottles of quality vintage 1959 "Piper-Heidsieck Brut" champagne. Recently, Piper Heidsieck was marked by a new design move - in collaboration with Christian Louboutin, a limited edition of gift sets was released, in which an elegant ladies' shoe with a crystal heel came with a bottle of wine. Such an application simultaneously reminded both of Cinderella and of the romantic tradition of drinking champagne from the shoe of an adored lady of the heart. The Piper-Heidsieck colors are gold and red. With the help of them, a festive style is created, which is present both on labels and on advertising products and on the website of the house. It is unlikely that you can find products with a shoe in Moscow, but you can find the usual branded champagne "Piper Heidsick", because it is produced in a batch of 5 million bottles annually. For this level of promotion, champagne has a democratic price, "Piper-Heidsieck Brut" will cost $ 50.

Mumm (G.H. Mumm). The style of the label of this champagne is easy to remember - it is crossed by a red ribbon, which is a symbol of the Legion of Honor. One of the first owners of the champagne house gave this decoration to his wine as early as the 18th century. Thanks to this, the brand name of the wine can be easily identified on the shelves of wine boutiques and in commercials, as well as on the balloons that the company loves to launch in order to attract attention. It is believed that "Mumm" is a wine of adrenaline, travel and discovery, as well as extreme sports. In addition, G.H.MUMM has always sponsored various events related to technical breakthroughs and sports achievements of a person. It is no coincidence that the company's slogan is "Courage and striving for extraordinary discoveries." "Mumm" implemented its first sponsorship project at the beginning of the last century - Captain Charcot christened his ship "Le France", breaking a bottle of "MUMM Cordon Rouge" on its side. A little later, on July 14, 1904, the captain, along with his crew, being on an ice floe near Antarctica, celebrated Bastille Day with champagne. When watching Formula 1, pay attention to what kind of champagne the pilots pour over each other. It is "Mumm" is the official sponsor of the races, and recently the company has released a limited edition "GH Mumm F1 box Limited Edition", which became part of the collection of champagne "Formula 1". More recently, champagne has received an unusual artistic advertising support - extraordinary Mumm-balls were born, which in size are just in the middle between the balloons and the bubbles of the drink. Today "Mumm" is the third champagne brand in terms of production volume. Every year the products of the house are sold in 100 countries of the world, about 8 million bottles are produced. And the price level does not lag behind competitors, in Moscow a standard bottle of "MUMM Cordon Rouge" will cost no less than $ 80.

Circle (Krug). The main rules of the Krug champagne house are endurance and quality. Robert Parker, already mentioned above, says: “Their strict and very conservative policy of aging wine for many years before its release on the market seems almost incompatible with the pace of the modern world,” but fortunately, this ensures their highest quality, maturity and complexity. " the manufacturer does not pursue the quantity. The house produces only about 100 thousand bottles annually, and this is 300 times less than the production of the leader - "Moet and Chandon"! The company has a very limited area of ​​its own vineyards - only about 20 hectares, but it buys the best grapes from the other 56 hectares of Champagne.The mixture is fermented in small wooden barrels, keeping the drink in bottles for at least 6-8 years.This gives the wine a complex, but recognizable taste and the ability to age nobly in the bottle. It is believed that this house has the most long-lasting, their quality does not deteriorate over time, and sometimes, on the contrary, the taste becomes even better. They lead to "late realization", they can be kept for 30 or 40 years. This provides an excellent opportunity to make a long-term investment in wine. Robert Parker, after tasting the "Circle" vintage 1947 champagne, declared that this is the best champagne he has ever tasted. Such a wine simply cannot be cheap, so recently at an auction in Hong Kong a bottle of a collectible "Circle" from 1928 was sold for $ 21,200, thereby making this particular brand of champagne the most expensive. Sotheby's expert Serena Sutcliffe believes that this champagne is one of the best in the history of winemaking. Let the volume of the issue "Krug" and small, but it is possible to find it, having tried, and here. This expensive drink costs from 400 to 800 dollars per bottle.

Paul Roger. The house was founded by Paul Roger back in 1849, and is still in the family's possession, fighting against the tendencies of mergers and acquisitions by large players of smaller ones. Today the company is run by two great-grandsons of the founder, who even managed to change their surname and write it through a hyphen - Paul Roger. This house is one of the finest in Champagne, producing world-renowned champagne. Robert Parker, chief wine critic, enthusiastically notes: "If there is one vintage Brut champagne that can clearly claim to be one of the greatest wines in the world, it is" Pol Roger ". Vintage wine has a rare quality - it can maintain its qualities for 30 or even more years than even some of the famous red wines of Bordeaux cannot boast.This fact makes "Paul Roger" interesting for wine collectors, as well as a profitable object for reliable investments. It was "Paul Roger" that was the favorite champagne Sir Winston Churchill The British Prime Minister once said: “I cannot live without champagne. After the victory I deserve it, and after the defeat I need it. "I must say that such a statement refers specifically to" Paul Roger ", because Churchill did not betray him, remaining a loyal fan. The company appreciated its important client - the wine was delivered to him in a unique containers, in specially made bottles of 1 imperial pint (about 0.57 liters). The drink was served to Churchill by the butler at 11 am, immediately after the politician woke up. Later, in honor of the prime minister, the company created a special brand in its line of wines - "Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill" ...The grapes of the best varieties and years are used to make it. Robert Parquet appreciates this view too. Although the company is considered a local, family owned company, it maintains production at the level of world leaders. About 1.5 million bottles of champagne are sold annually. Prices also do not lag behind competitors, in Moscow "Pol Roger Cuvee Brut" costs at least $ 80, and "Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill" - already from $ 150.

Bollinger. Another divine Champagne wine is Bollinger. Not only Robert Parker, but also other world-class wine critics - Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson and others, include this champagne in the top five for quality along with "Dom Perignon", "Louis Roederer", "Pol Roger" and "Krug". The "Bollinger Grande Année" brand (Bollinger of the Great Harvest Year), which is considered an elite brand of impeccable quality, is especially distinguished by connoisseurs. Fans of champagne, paying tribute to this taste, remember this wine as a favorite drink of James Bond. The super spy lazily sipped a Bollinger with an aristocratic air in almost half of the Bond films. It is not surprising that on the eve of the premiere of the new film about the adventures of James with Daniel Craig in the title role, the Bollinger company decided to consolidate the Bond-Bollinger association by releasing a limited edition of 207 bottles of champagne. A bullet-shaped steel case engraved with "Bollinger 007" holds a 1999 "Bollinger Grande" bottle. It is interesting, but the history of the brand has something in common with "Widow Clicquot". So, in winemaking there is a term - "The famous widows of champagne". The names of the widows Clicquot-Ponsardin, Laurent-Perrier, Enrio and Pommery eventually became trademarks, and Lily Bollinger was no exception. When this woman was widowed at 42, she devoted all her energy to improving the technology of champagne production, maintaining the tradition of high quality that Thomas Jefferson admired. Today, the heirs of the House of Bollinger follow these well-established traditions. Back in 1922, the firm promulgated the "Charter of Ethics and Quality", which it still follows, even if it affects the production volumes. But it is bearing fruit - today the demand for the elite Bollinger champagne so much exceeds the supply that the drink is distributed across countries only in accordance with the quotas set by the manufacturer. The company produces about a million bottles annually, which is a significant indicator for a family business. You can also find products at home in Moscow, a bottle of "Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut" starts at $ 100, and "Bollinger Grande Annee" will cost twice as much. A collection sample in the form of a bullet, located in a box with a total weight of 22 kilograms, can hardly be found in Moscow, and its price is at the level of 6 thousand dollars.

Salon (Salon). This great champagne house is also the smallest. It all started with 1 hectare of vineyard bought in 1911 by Eugene Aimé Salon. This charismatic man managed to be a teacher, salesman and many others. In the end, having amassed a million-dollar capital, the Salon decided to become a winemaker, creating a drink of unusual taste. The entrepreneur's motivation is easy to understand - he adored restaurants and was a connoisseur of the best French wines. The salon understood that it was able to create a completely unique wine with unsurpassed quality and unusual properties. Eugene decided to try to create wine only on the basis of Chardonnay and only the best vintages. In ordinary years, he did not want to make wine at all. In 1921, the Salon house was founded, which until 2006 produced only 36 vintage wines. Naturally, from the very beginning, this approach made the drink famous as a companion of luxury, because it was rare, expensive and very prestigious. The very first vintages created a name for champagne; in the 1920s, moreover, Salon was the "wine of the institution" of the legendary Maxim restaurant, where the Parisian nobility walked. After the death of the Salon, its wine business was resold twice; today, its owner is the Laurent-Perrier group. The new owners are trying to maintain the Salon brand, champagne is made only from grapes of the best harvest years. Over the past thirty years, only one in three collections has turned into wine. The quality of Salon wines is characterized by Parker as indisputable, the critic emphasizes his favorite vintage of the 1990 vintage. Naturally, the production volumes of Salon champagne are not large - about 50 thousand bottles, and even then not every year. It is very rare to find such wine in Moscow, although the price for it, as for an exclusive, is rather low - from 400 dollars per bottle.

Watch the video: What Is A Grand Cru Champagne?

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