Maisons et Domaines Henriot – perfection from France

Maisons et Domaines Henriot – perfection from France
Maisons et Domaines Henriot – perfection from France

What motivates a successful Champagne house such as Henriot to purchase well-known vineyards in Burgundy, the Chablis, and the Beaujolais regions? It may be the desire for promising investments, but it is more likely, that a bit of passion for wine is at play.

Anyone who has become passionate about wine has a hard time letting go again. Winemakers, by nature, bear a higher risk. They are often already born with a passion for wine. This is most certainly evident in the history of the Henriot family, who originated in the Lorraine region. A certain Nicolas Henriot, a cloth and wine merchant from Reims, married Apolline Godinot; both loved good wines. In 1808, Apolline, another enterprising Champagne lady, founded the Champagne house Henriot. Its wines were very popular at the Dutch king‘s court of the and at the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria. For seven generations, the champagne has been produced on the basis of strict quality criteria; only the best grapes are selected. Today, the company runs 35 hectares, and additionally purchases grapes mainly from grand cru and premier cru locations. Only the best wines and vintages produce the Prestige Cuvée des Enchanteleurs. The Blanc de Blancs is one of the best of its kind. The Henriots have the right touch for the Chardonnay.

Maybe, this is because Joseph Henriot bought vineyards in Burgundy and Chablis. This is where some of greatest Chardonnay wines in the world are made. With the 1995 purchase of the Bouchard Père et Fils company, founded in 1731 and located in the prestigious Château de Beaune, the Henriot family acquired possession of a renowned producer. Founded in 1731, Bouchard Père et Fils is one of the oldest Burgundy wine houses, and enjoys not just a rich fund of experience but also its own vineyards – allowing it to produce wines of the very top quality.

In 1731, the cloth merchant Michel Bouchard settled in Volnay. A lot of wine was grown there, so why not also buy and sell wines? Together with his son Joseph, he founded a wine merchant business. Because most Burgundy growers own only small parcels of land, the négociants play an essential role.  

Image removed.

They buy wines, assemble them in their own cellars and take care of the marketing. By the time this is done, the grower has long received their money and thus bears no commercial risk – so both sides benefit. But anyone who has caught the wine bug wants to have their own vines. Therefore, Joseph Bouchard bought the first vineyard of his own in 1775 in Volnay (together with an estate) and also bought the Château de Beaune in Beaune. Wellknown Volnay vineyards, such as Caillerets, are still owned by the family today. Business boomed under the management of Joseph’s son Antoine Philibert Joseph Bouchard; these two are the father and son referred to in the company’s name.

After the French revolution, Antoine acquired vineyards which had formerly belonged to the church, including the Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus and other choice vineyards in Beaune. There an imposing château (with an impressive cellar) can be found which was bought by Antoine’s son Bernard Bouchard in 1820, together with many other top-quality sites in Beaune, Chassagne Montrachet, Pommard and Volnay. Top crus continued to be added until into the 20th century (Meursault Genevrières, Clos Vougeot).

Today, the company has 130 hectares of its own vineyards, which it manages in a sustainable way. In 2005, a modern winery was built. The use of modern cellar technology does not mean that the essence of the wines has changed, according to Joseph Henriot. He has been the owner since the purchase of Bouchard Père & Fils by the champagne house Henriot in 1995, but has left the management in the hands of the Bouchard family.

Image removed.

According to Henriot,“The great wines of Burgundy are an expression of theirterroir and are essential points of reference for any wine lover. They must not under any circumstances be altered to suit alleged fashions in consumer taste”.

Three-quarters of the 130-hectare vineyard area of Bouchard Père et Fils are classified as Premier Cru or Grand Cru – guarantors of top wine quality. The 2005 vintage was vinified for the first time in the newly constructed, perfectly equipped Cuverie Saint-Vincent. In Chablis, the venerable house William Fèvre was added to the collection in 1998, which can call a unique variety of Premier Cru and Grand Cru locations its own. In 2008, Henriot purchased the Villa Ponciago domaine in the Beaujolais Cru Fleurie. This buying made it possible to offer an extensive collection of fine wines from all over Burgundy, from north to south. The name Villa Ponciago was already documented in the year 949, when the vineyard was signed over to the Abbey of Cluny. For Thomas Henriot, this is the fulfillment of a dream: “My dream is to rediscover the great wines of the terroirs of Fleurie.” One thing is clear: It is a passion for wine that has turned a Champagne company into a great wine family with superb qualities.



Image removed.

Maisons et Domaines Henriot

Champagne Henriot
81 rue Coquebert
51100 Reims, France

Tel.: +33 326 895300
Fax: +33 326 895310



Latest Articles