An enduring tradition since 1522
XVIth-XVIIth: April le Philipponnat has owned an estate in Aÿ since 1522 and two House Cuvées, named after this year, honour him today. The emblem of the House, the red and gold checkerboard family coat-of-arms, was registered with the French Heraldry in 1698, even though the Philipponnat family had been established in the heart of Champagne for almost two centuries by that stage.
Second Empire: Owners of vineyards and wine traders in their own right, the Philipponnats devote themselves to the production of Champagne.
1910: Auguste and Pierre Philipponnat settle in Mareuil sur Aÿ and start using the old wine cellars (XVIIIth Century) of the castle and give their House its modern commercial momentum despite the onset of the First World War and a widespread phylloxera crisis.
A great insight
1935: Pierre Philipponnat acquires the Clos des Goisses, a unique vineyard on the southern flank of the Gruguet hill. Breaking with the tradition of blending in Champagne, he creates a remarkable single-vineyard wine. The following generations go on to further develop the reputation of the House, first in France and then abroad.
A new momentum
1997: Philipponnat joins the Boizel Chanoine Champagne Group. Charles Philipponnat, grandson of Auguste, is brought in to run the House and brings the required energy to its international development. Since then, Philipponnat continues to expand and receives growing acclaim from both wine critics and the world of Haute Cuisine.
2003: The new wine making facilities as well as the barrel room are completed in Mareuil sur Ay, the ultimate stage in production of quality wines at Philipponnat.
The Philipponnat style
The Philipponnat style relies on balance between intensity and freshness.
The intensity results from:
1) the dominance of Pinot Noir in the blends , particularly the very well southern-facing vineyards from the South of the Montagne de Reims.
2) the search for an optimal physiological maturity of the grapes due to slightly late grape picking.
The freshness ensues from:
1) the use of never less than 30% Chardonnay, and particularly from the use of only the first pressing (the Cuvée),
2) a very moderate dosage which protects the aromatic freshness and the natural minerality of the base wines.
An essential portion of vintage wines and of Clos des Goisses are matured in oak barrel to increase their complexity. Wines matured in oak, as well as a part of those matured in steel tanks are not subjected to malo-lactic fermentation in order to increase and adjust the perception of acidity and freshness.
To learn more about Philipponnat read BestChampagne exclusive interview with its President Charles Philipponnat.