Champagne Philipponnat Celebrates 500th Anniversary

The entrance to the reception at the Musée Saint-Remi in Reims.

Photo provided

The entrance to the reception at the Musée Saint-Remi in Reims

The entrance to the reception at the Musée Saint-Remi in Reims.

Photo provided Champagne Philipponnat Celebrates 500th Anniversary The small Champagne house behind the famous Clos des Goisses Champagne marked its 500-year presence in the region with a reception and dinner in Reims.

Champagne Philipponnat has long celebrated its family presence in Champagne, in the village of Maeruil-sur-Aÿ, with its 1522 cuvée, made chiefly from the single vineyard site Le Léon in the grand cru village of Aÿ. A testament of Jean Royer, abbot of the Hautvillers Abbey, documents that Apvril de Philipponnat, the first family member to settle in Champagne after the King of France’s Italian Wars where he had served as a captain, had already owned this vineyard in 1522, hence the name of this special single-vineyard Pinot Noir cuvée.

Surprising findings

The approaching anniversary year of 2022 then prompted Charles Philipponnat, the 15th generation of the family, to write a family history and do more research. This brought to light that Apvril de Philipponnat had in fact already owned a plot of vines in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ as early as 1515. Since then, the family has continued to grow grapes, well before Champagne became a sparkling wine. They first started bottling their own wine rather than selling grapes, in the 1850s and, as Charles Philipponnat said, the transition “from farmers to businessmen started in 1910.”

Making history

Philipponnat made history when it became the first house to ever release a single-vineyard Champagne from the 1935 vintage of the Clos des Goisses vineyard. The years following the Second World War, Philipponnat noted, saw “an explosion of Champagne. There was huge demand. There was a mass of brut sans année (non-vintage brut wines), but Philipponnat went for luxury with Clos des Goisses.” The house started exporting wines in the 1980s – especially to Michelin-starred restaurants and Charles Philipponnat still sees himself today as an “ambassador of very gastronomic Champagnes – very intense – a wine to accompany all meals.”

Philipponnat's celebrations in the cloister of Basilique Saint-Remi in Reims

Photo provided

Global celebrations

”It is easy to celebrate in Champagne,” Philipponnat said. “We just open bottles.” Celebrations will continue with special dinners in Paris, California and Sydney. Philipponnat said that no special cuvée would mark the anniversary, as 1522 had already been created years ago. In Reims, the anniversary was marked with a Champagne reception and presentation of the book Philipponnat – 500  Years of History at the Heart of Champagne in the cloister of the Basilique Saint-Remi, followed by a dinner at Les Crayères. Several wines were showcased and paired with a special menu – honouring the gastronomic tradition of Philipponnat.

2012 Champagne Philipponnat Grand Blanc Extra Brut

1982 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut