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Moet & Chandon

France Champagne

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The largest champagne production and trading house in the world with over 30 million bottles of Champagner produced per year. This amount means that a bottle of the company is uncorked every second so...

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0.75 L
Champagne AOC Brut Impérial
Translate to English Editor note: Deutlich pflanzliche und brotig-hefige Nase mit mandelig-nussigen Tönen sowie etwas Kernobst und Zit...

The largest champagne production and trading house in the world with over 30 million bottles of champagne produced per year. This amount means that a bottle of the company is uncorked every second somewhere on earth. Every fourth bottle of champagne comes from the company, and its market share in the USA is 50%. The company was founded in Épernay in 1743 by Claude Moët (1683-1760), who had inherited some vineyards and started producing champagne. He was acquainted with Pierre Pérignon (1639-1715), with whose abbey, where this famous monk worked, the company was later to have a special relationship. The family had been involved in the wine trade in Champagne since the 14th century.

Moët et Chandon - Orangerie in Épernay

The founder's son Claude-Louis Nicolas Moët (1719-1792) supplied his champagne to the table of King Louis XV (1710-1774). His mistress Madame Pompadour (1721-1764) said: "Champagne is the only drink that makes women more beautiful the more they drink of it". The founder's grandson Jean-Rémy Moët (1758-1841) was already exporting his champagne all over the world. He was a close friend of Napoleon (1769-1821), which was very conducive to business ventures. He acquired the abbey of Saint-Pierre d'Hautvillers in the early 1830s, where the monk Pierre Pérignon had lived in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The buildings were converted into a museum with replicas of Pérignon's cell and laboratory. In 1833, he handed over the business to his son Victor Moët and his son-in-law Pierre-Gabriel Chandon (1778-1850). Since then, the company has traded under the name Moët et Chandon.

Moët et Chandon - Besuch von Napoleon im Keller am 26. Juli 1807

From the 1960s onwards, some old champagne companies were taken over, Ruinart in 1962, Mercier in 1970 and Krug in 1999. The company's own holdings in Champagne cover 1,300 hectares, which supply about a quarter of the vintage. The large remainder comes from many winegrowers, most of whom have been associated with the house for generations. The wines are stored and matured in the chalk cellars with a total length of 110 km, which even have their own "street names" for better orientation. The standard brand is the "Brut Impérial" created in 1869 from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, which is blended from 100 wines. The brand is produced in many bottle sizes (see picture). Production of the historic "White Star" brand was discontinued in 2009. This became famous during a ship christening in 1902 during the "Champagne War Moët et Chandon vs. Söhnlein". Other brands include "Brut Rosé", "Vintage", Nectar Impérial" and "Ice Impérial".

Moët et Chandon - White Star und alle Flaschengrößen von Brut Impérial

The most famous brand, considered the best champagne ever, is the Cuvée de Prestige "Dom Pérignon", created in 1936 and named after the monk. The brand name was previously owned by Mercier, but they never used it and sold it to Moët et Chandon in 1930. In 1970, as already mentioned, Mercier itself was also taken over. A "Dom Pérignon Rosé" was first produced in 1959 with only 306 bottles, these rare examples are among the most expensive wines in the world. It is produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The grapes come from Grand Cru vineyards and also to a small extent (as a tribute to Dom Pierre) from the vineyards of the former Hautvillers Abbey. In special years, there is also a vintage. The absolute best Dom Pérignon is considered to be the "Oenothèque", which is aged longer on the lees and disgorged much later than the other champagnes. Hollywood repeatedly integrates Dom Pérignon into films, including the James Bond film "Goldfinger" (1963). In an episode of the TV series "Star Trek", the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701B) was christened with a futuristic "Dom Pérignon" of the vintage 2265 (see picture above left).

In Argentina, the "Bodega Chandon" was founded in 1959 in Agrelo (Mendoza) with over 1,300 ha. In 1971, a merger with the cognac house Hennessy took place and in 1973 the perfume empire Christian Dior was taken over. Finally, in 1987, the entire Moët et Chandon company became the property of the LVMH group (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). The annual production volume of all LVMH champagne brands is 68 million bottles.

Orangerie: By Palauenc05 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
White Star: Par Alfons Mucha - Art Renewal Museum, Domaine public, Lien
Bottles: By Tomas er - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Moet & Chandon Region: France Champagne
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