|Appellation||Champagne (wine region)|
|Known for||Rare (prestige)
|Varietals||Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier|
PIPER-HEIDSIECK is a Champagne house from the Champagne region of France. Founded by Florens-Louis Heidsieck in 1785 in Reims, the Heidsieck name was combined with the Piper name in 1838. In 1985, PIPER-HEIDSIECK became part of the Rémy Cointreau wine and spirits group, and was sold in 2011 to EPI (Européenne de Participation Industrielle), a privately owned holding company of French luxury brands, presided by Christopher Descours.
Cécile Bonnefond is now the CEO of PIPER-HEIDSIECK.
PIPER-HEIDSIECK currently produces different champagnes, all produced using a non-malolactic, low-dosage method:
- Cuvée Brut (non-vintage) (Composition: 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier.)
- Rosé Sauvage (non-vintage) (Composition: 45% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier.)
- Cuvée Sublime (non-vintage) A demi-sec champagne. (Composition: 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier.)
- 2006 Vintage Brut A special release from 2006, a year considered exceptional by PIPER-HEIDSIECK.(Composition: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.)
- Cuvée Rare (2002 vintage) (Composition: 30% Pinot Noir, 70% Chardonnay.)
Owning no vineyards of their own, PIPER-HEIDSIECK sources grapes from 60 vineyards in the Champagne region for use in their wines.
It all begins with Florens-Louis Heidsieck. The son of a Protestant minister, born in Westphalia in 1749, he started out as a draper in Reims where he fell in love with a girl from Champagne…and with the wine from Champagne. He was overcome with the ambition to “make a cuvée worthy of a queen.” In 1785, he founded the Cloth and Wine Trading Company Heidsieck& Co. On 6 May 1785, it is said that Florens-Louis Heidsieck received the honour of personally presenting his wine to Queen Marie-Antoinette.
Upon Florens-Louis’ death in 1828, his nephew Christian Heidsieck went into partnership with Henri-Guillaume Piper, a talented man with gifted business acumen. After the death of Christian Heidsieck in 1835, his widow re-married Henri-Guillaume Piper in 1838. And thus the PIPER-HEIDSIECK brand was born.
Upon the death of Henri-Guillaume in 1870, Jacques-Charles Théodore Kunkelmann, partner since 1851, took the reins at the Maison. In 1892, his son Ferdinand-Théodore became his successor. In 1926, his daughter, Yolande Kunkelmann, married the Marquis Jean de Suarez d’Aulan; a pioneering aviator. During the Second World War, the Marquis Jean de Suarez d’Aulan agreed to hide weapons for use by the Champagne Resistance in his cellars. He died in combat in 1944. PIPER-HEIDSIECK was placed under sequestration by the occupiers. After the Liberation of France, the Champagne House would almost certainly have collapsed if it had not been re-launched by his wife Yolande, with the assistance of General d’Alès, who she would later remarry in 1945.
In 1957, the Marquis Jean de Suarez d’Aulan and Yolande Kunkelmann’s eldest son François d’Aulan took over the business. He presided over PIPER-HEIDSIECK Champagnes for thirty-three years. In 1988 he passed on the torch to the Hériard Dubreuil family. Then, in 2011, the Descours family took the reins. Now it is Christopher Descours, grandson of Jean-Louis Descours, a major figure inthe National Council of French Employers, who has the future of this Champagne House in his hands
- Stevenson, Tom. Christie's World Encyclopedia Of Champagne & Sparkling Wine. San Francisco, CA: Wine Appreciation Guild. p. 111. ISBN 1-891267-06-X.
- "Rémy Cointreau cède Piper et Charles Heidsieck à EPI". WineAlley.com. Retrieved 26 Sep 2011 (publ. 14 Jun 2011).
Media related to Piper-Heidsieck at Wikimedia Commons
- Champagne Piper-Heidsieck (official website)