Henriot Champagne is an esteemed Champagne house in the village of Reims, notable because it has remained independently owned by the same family since its inception in 1808. This is quite interesting in the French wine industry, and certainly in the luxury world of Champagne, where many houses are owned by large international corporations.
Henriot Champagne: What you need to know
The house was founded by young widow Apolline Henriot and her family line has remained at the helm in the more than two centuries since. The wines of Henriot Champagne run the gamut of Champagne styles, from non-vintage brut and rosé to special vintage cuvées and a signature Blanc de Blancs Champagne, made from 100% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs villages of Le Clos l’Abbé and Chouilly.
The Henriot Champagne family maintains vineyard land of roughly 35 hectares throughout Champagne, throughout the key regions including the Vallée de la Marne, the aforementioned Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. It is the village of Reims that Henriot Champagne proudly calls home, and its great maison sits proudly along Rue Coquebert. Reims is the ideal situation for a top Champagne house, and Henriot finds itself in very good company.
The city of Reims
Located approximately 130 kilometres northeast of Paris, the city of Reims is a treasure trove for Champagne lovers. Alongside Epernay and Ay, it forms the beating heart of the Champagne wine region. Its population is over 180,000, though it maintains something of a village-like charm all the same. It is among the top wine tourism destinations in France, alongside other regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Champagne in Reims
Henriot Champagne is one of many top Champagne houses in Reims. Reims is home to a number of seriously illustrious Champagne houses and Champagne brands. To mention just a few, you’ve got:
- Champagne Ruinart, the oldest Champagne house with a history dating all the way back to its foundation 1729 by one Nicolas Ruinart. It enjoys a stellar reputation as one of the top Champagne marques today, and sits proudly (if discreetly) in the super premium Champagne portfolio of luxury goods giant LVMH, Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Among its best wines is its own pure-Chardonnay Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, which owes a lot to the skill and craftsmanship of the house’s former cellarmaster, Jean-François Barot.
- Champagne Pommery, an innovative house credited with the invention of Brut Champagne. The house is part of the large Vranken Pommery Monopole Group, headquartered in Reims, which has a number of significant wine-related interests in Champagne and elsewhere. Pommery’s flagship wine today is Pommery Brut Royal, an elegant and lively Champagne that is highly accessible in terms of both price and flavour profile.
- Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, perhaps Reims’ most famous Champagne house, shares a common historical thread with Henriot Champagne: Both were founded by widows. The Veuve Clicquot story is a fascinating one that has been the subject of a lot of great writing. For those that would rather experience history through a glass of fine Champagne, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004 is bottled history and is a vintage bubbly that is really worth trading up for. As with Ruinart, LVMH is this house’s parent company.