There are now three different Champagne houses in Reims, which use the name Heidsieck in the company name. The complicated story began when the German -born Florence-Ludwig Heidsieck (1749-1828) from Westphalia settled in Reims in 1777 and from then on called Florens-Louis Heidsieck. Shortly thereafter, he married the daughter of wealthy textile entrepreneur Nicolas Perthois. In 1780 he started to produce his own wine and in 1785 founded his own champagne house with his son. In 1785 he was queen Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793) received. When the son of the founder died at a young age, Florens-Louis Heidsieck included three of his nephews in the company. Henri-Louis Waldbaum was the first to join the company in 1795, followed by Charles-Henri Heidsieck in 1805 and Christian Heidsieck in 1808, the younger brother of Charles-Henri. The production was based primarily on the sales of all former European royal and royal courts, because champagne was the very popular drink of the ruling class. Just before 1812 Napoleon (1769-1821) invaded Russia, Charles-Henri Heidsieck initiated a sensational publicity stunt. He announced that he would travel to Moscow on a mold from Reims. In fact, a few weeks before the French army in Moscow, he rode a couple of boxes of champagne in his marching baggage.
Charles-Henri died in 1824 four years before his uncle Florens-Louis Heidsieck and left next to his widow his two-year-old son Charles -Camille Heidsieck (1822-1893), who later founded one of the three Heidsieck houses. The remaining nephews decided to suspend trading temporarily. A little later, Henri-Louis Waldbaum and Christian Heidsieck started again with the champagne trade. Soon after this new alliance fell apart and the two nephews went their separate ways. As a result, three companies with the name Heidsieck developed, so that legal disputes were inevitable. When Heidsieck Monopole celebrated its centennial in 1885, there was trouble with the house of Charles Heidsieck. However, since Charles Heidsieck was later founded as Heidsieck Monopolies and Piper-Heidsieck, the court allowed that both Heidsieck Monopolies and Piper-Heidsieck 1785 may call. The long dispute is long since buried.
Henri-Louis Waldbaum founded the company Waldbaum-Heidsieck & Co. together with his brother-in-law Auguste Heidsieck in 1834. After the death of Auguste Heidsieck in 1870 the house was renamed until 1910 under different names such as Veuve Heidsieck and Luling, Goulden & Co. Im In 1923 Edouard Mignot bought it and the name Heidsieck & Co. Monopolies. The company was gradually expanded until 1985 by the champagne house spunk taken over and then in 1998 by the Empire Vranken Bought. The vineyards cover 110 hectares with predominantly Pinot Noir in the prestigious locations Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzenay and Verzy. Incidentally, in the Heidsieck vineyards of Verzenay on a hill called Mont Boef is the last windmill of Champagne. The vintage champagne "Blue Top" is assembled from 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier. The sweet brands "Red Top" (sec) and "Green Top" (demi-sec), as well as the "Rosé Top" have the same mix. The Cuvée de Prestige is called "Diamond Bleu Vintage" from 50% each Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the best Grand Crus. Every year, around two million bottles are produced.
In 1998, from the wreck of the Swedish ship "Jönköping" 50 boxes (with 3,000 bottles) of the brand "Heidsieck - Monopolies - Goût Américain" of the year 1907 salvaged. The schooner was sunk during the First World War in 1916 by a German submarine in the Baltic Sea. The cargo with 4,000 to 5,000 bottles of champagne, wine and spirits had been destined for Russian Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) (by the way, the Russian Tsar's Court ordered around 400,000 bottles of Heidsieck Monopole champagne annually). The precious bottles were stored for 82 years at a depth of 64 meters and thus enormously high external pressure at four degrees Celsius. These optimal storage conditions proved the golden champagne with 12.35% vol alcohol content and a sweet Dosage of 42.35 g / l in a tasting by well-known degustators as excellent. This makes this champagne one of the still edible oldest wines of the world. At a auction In Moscow, the unbelievable price of 224,000 euros was achieved for a champagne bottle from this find and is therefore one of the most expensive wines in the world,
Christian Heidsieck also founded a company in 1834 and operated trading under the "Heidsieck" brand. After his death just a year later, the house was run by his widow and known as "Veuve Heidsieck". In 1837, she married her brother-in-law Henri-Guillaume Piper, a grandnephew of Heidsieck founder Florens-Louis Heidsieck. From 1845 the name Piper-Heidsieck was used, although at the same time the brand Heidsieck was maintained. At the same time, the above-mentioned Charles-Camille Heidsieck joined the company, but left again and founded his own company (see below). Henri Piper died in 1870 and bequeathed the company to Jean-Claude Kunkelmann. This family was already involved in the company in the early days of the Heidsieck dynasty. The house was renamed for some time under the name Kunkelmann & Cie. By marriage, the company finally came into the possession of the family Suarez d'Aulan. Owned since 1988 also Piper Sonoma in California, In 1989 the house of Remy Martin acquired. Finally, it was bought in 2011 (with Charles Heidsieck) by the company Societe Europeenne de Participations Industrieles (EPI) for 400 million euros.
Over time, the company became the purveyor to 17 royal houses. The legendary butler Daniel Thibault (1947-2002) contributed to the high quality of the products in more recent times. Incidentally, he was also responsible for Charles Heidsieck's champagne. By the way, Piper-Heidsieck was the first champagne house, which Gyropalettes used for shaking. The products are primarily influenced by Pinot Noir. The Cuvée de Prestige is named after the founder "Florence-Louis". Another top product is the Mono blend "Rare". This vintage champagne is made from around 70% Pinot Noir and around 30% Chardonnay from precious layers. Almost five million bottles are produced each year, many of which are exported to Belgium, Germany, England, Italy and the USA. Piper-Heidsieck was also the favorite champagne of Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). She noticed that a glass of it pleasantly warms her body. The company also produced a chewing tobacco with champagne flavors for the US market, which was a huge success for decades. By train you can visit part of the 12 km long chalk cellar.
Charles Heidsieck, like his father, married a lady from the long-established family of champagne houses Henriot, Shortly thereafter, he left Piper-Heidsieck and founded in 1851, together with his brother-in-law Ernest Henriot a company called Charles Heidsieck. Heidsieck, who became famous as "Champagne Charlie", was a passionate hunter. In 1857 he traveled to the USA for the first time to hunt and also to promote his champagne. Within a short time he sold the first 300,000 bottles of champagne over there. With his cultivated nature and his extraordinary charm, he quickly became known and loved in the best circles. Soon after, the civil war broke out and Charles was put in jail by the northern states for seven months because documents he found betrayed trade relations with the southern states. For his release then sat down Emperor Napoleon III. (1808-1873) to US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Around 1870, a musical "Champagne Charlie" was a great success and in 1998 his life was filmed with Hugh Grant in the lead role. Charles-Eugène Heidsieck took over in 1871 the line. The co-founder Ernest Henriot left the house in 1875 and dedicated himself to his own champagne company.
Almost exactly 100 years later, Henriot and Charles Heidsieck merged and Joseph Henriot, a descendant of then-co-founder Ernest Henriot, took control of both companies. Until 1985, in contrast to the other two Heidsieck companies, management remained within the family. Jean-Marc Heidsieck was the last head of the house before being bought by Rémy Martin ( Rémy Cointreau ). The new cellar master Daniel Thibault proposed to forego a large part of the champagne production for several years in order to be able to expand large quantities of reserve wines. This measure was a complete success. Thibault introduced the term for vintage champagne Mise en cave (encased) indicating on the label the year of bottling. The own vineyards cover 60 hectares. The Cuvée de Prestige is called "Blanc des Millénaires" from 100% Chardonnay. This vintage champagne replaced its predecessor "Champagne Charlie" in 1990. Every year around 3.5 million bottles of champagne are produced. The company was bought in 2011 (with Piper-Heidsieck) by Societe Europeenne de Participations Industrieles (EPI) for around 400 million euros.