Established in 1808, Champagne Henriot is one of the rare Champagne houses that is completely independent, and which has remained in the hands of the same family throughout its long and illustrious history.Since its founding, the Maison has been driven by the passion of individuals who have captured the essence of Champagne’s true terroir, passing this unique expertise from one generation to another. Originally from Lorraine, the Henriot family settled in Champagne in 1640. Nicolas Henriot married Apolline Godinot, who owned prestigious Pinot Noir vineyards in the Montagne de Reims. Together, they devoted their time and energy to the family vineyards and selling wine. On the death of her husband in 1808, Apolline launched Maison Henriot. In 1880, Marie Marguet, the wife of Apolline’s grandson, added to the family’s collection of vineyards with several plots in the Côte des Blancs. This firmly established Maison Henriot in the prestigious Chardonnay vineyards. Today, using the finest Blancs de Champagne which are at the heart of its history, Henriot adds an exceptionally high proportion of Premier and Grand Crus to its cuvées which come from the finest Chardonnay parcels.
Henriot believes Chardonnay to be a symbol of finesse and elegance...
In order to maintain a consistent level of excellence across all of its house styles, the company strictly adheres to a set of very precise rules governing the growing and winemaking process. The Henriot vineyards are comprised of 34,000 hectares: 17 Grand Cru vineyards and 42 Premier Cru, using three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Plant density is limited to 7,500 - 9,000 vines per hectare and only four vine training systems are allowed: Chablis, Cordon de Royat, Guyot, Vallée de la Marne. Annual yield limits are also strictly applied – a maximum of 13,000 kg/hectare – all of which has to be manually harvested.Henriot believe that their wines should age for as long as possible, with a minimum age of 15 months for a nonvintage and three years for a vintage. A comprehensive knowledge of the parcels, together with an ability to appreciate their aromatic nuances and analyse the scope of their vintage variation, are what has defined Henriot since its founding.
The production process is careful and considered to achieve the very best from the grapes. All the wines are left to age in the Maison’s cellars, 18 metres below ground in ideal temperature and humidity conditions. For Champagne Henriot, Chardonnay is king and makes up at least 50% of all of its wines. Henriot believes Chardonnay to be a symbol of the finesse and elegance that constitutes the very essence of the House. Standard bearer of Maison Henriot’s savoir-faire, their Blanc de Blancs delights with its astonishing complexity and length, with Henriot ageing their wines up to three times longer to allow the Chardonnay to reach its full expression.
“What’s most important is to cultivate the grapes within the rules of the art”
Henriot use a high proportion of Grand and Premier Crus in their blends, mainly from the Côte des Blancs, which is widely recognised for the finesse of its Chardonnays.
The grapes come from the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Vertus, Chouilly, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. For Pinot Noir, Henriot mainly selects grapes from the north-facing slopes of the
Montagne de Reims, from the villages of Verzy, Verzenay and Mailly.
In 1990, Joseph Henriot had a vision to start a unique project, continuing to place great importance on the Chardonnay grape. He set aside in a single vat – Cuve 38 – a blend made up exclusively from four of the finest Chardonnay Grand Crus: Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Mesnilsur-Oger. Each year, a portion of outstanding Blanc de Blancs is added to the vat, capturing the essence of every harvest. In so doing, Joseph Henriot has created a perpetual blend both complex and rare and only available in magnum. In their nonvintage champagnes, Henriot adds a small portion of Cuve 38 to the blend to ensure they have a higher percentage of Grand Cru.