Dom Pérignon

Dom Pérignon
Dom Pérignon

Dom Pérignon Dom Pérignon

Dom Pérignon is only available as a vintage. Only the best grapes are selected. Each vintage is unique and reinterprets the unique character of the seasons. Dom Pérignon reinvents itself with each vintage, always taking risks. Even to the point of not declaring a vintage.

Creation date: 1668
CEO: Stéphane Baschiera
Head office: 9, avenue de Champagne, 51200 Epernay - France
Website: www.domperignon.com

Identity

In the 17th century, the monk Pierre Pérignon nurtured an ambition to create “the best wine in the world”. This daring visionary traveled across France, earning a place for himself at the table of the Sun King, who was captivated by the reputation of Dom Pérignon’s wine. Three centuries later, the House perpetuates this man’s vision and work, and he is now considered to be the spiritual father of Champagne. Dom Pérignon vintages are produced using the best grapes on the estate. Each one is a unique creation with a style and an identity which are unique to its vintage. It is down to Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy to decide if the vintage will be declared:  “If the fruit we have harvested doesn’t satisfy the Dom Pérignon criteria, there will not be a vintage that year.” This vision is tangible through the subtle balance that characterizes the House Champagnes: an alliance of complexity and intensity. Slow maturation means that each vintage has wonderful aging potential and can be presented in three Plenitudes.

Dom Pérignon bottle © Luc Castel 2013

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In 1668, Pierre Pérignon took up his role as cellarer at the Abbey of Hautvillers. Thanks to the vineyards, he brought the estate back to prosperity, discovering by chance how to create bubbles in wine during his experiments. Contemporary of Louis XIV, he spent his life perfecting his technique to make a wine with an unparalleled reputation.

Bas-relief sculpture of Dom Pierre Pérignon © Richard Newton

Insights

Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave © Thierry Bouët

” I have always compared vintages to musical works composed by nature: as Chef de Cave, my role is then to take up my instrument and play. This harmonious dialogue between the unique style of Dom Pérignon and the personality expressed by each vintage is the key to revealing the wine’s intimate soul.”

Savoir-faire

The philosophy, vision and spirit of Dom Pérignon are incarnated in his Manifesto, a document which explains the ten basic principles guiding winemaking at the House. Dom Pérignon can only be a vintage and blended. Each year, the Chef de Cave reinvents the House style with different grapes, creating a unique vintage, a perfect balance between the expression of Dom Pérignon and the expression of the vintage itself. It is made using a subtle blend of two grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – which are taken from the very best vineyards in Champagne. The wines owe their complexity to the slow ripening of the grapes, which conserves freshness while revealing new aromas and new textures with the passing of time. These aromas, which develop in the wines as they are protected from oxygen during the aging process, guarantee exceptional cellaring potential and a characteristic minerality which is an aromatic signature of the House.

Manual riddling of Dom Pérignon bottles © Mi Hyun Kim

Architecture

Nestled in the heart of Champagne on a hillside overlooking the Marne Valley, the Abbey of Hautvillers is the House of Dom Pérignon’s historic birthplace. It was founded in around 650 by Saint Nivard, the Archbishop of Reims. It was destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions, but finally rose from its ashes in the 16th century with the help of Catherine de Médicis. It was in this exceptional place that Dom Pérignon pursued his ambition to create the “best wine in the world” for 47 years. Today, the heritage of the Abbey, whose cloister was restored in 2012, is a source of limitless inspiration for Richard Geoffroy.

The Abbey of Hautvillers © Richard Newton

Key figures

  • 47 number of years Dom Pierre Pérignon spent making Champagne
  • 10 number of founding principles guiding the House's winemaking process
  • 13°C the ideal temperature for cellaring Dom Pérignon vintages