Founded in 1734, the Taittinger Champagne house is based in Reims and is run by a family dedicated to keeping their legacy alive by honoring its rich history and dedication to producing fine wine.
A Brief History of Taittinger Champagne
The story began in 1734 when a gentleman by the name of Jacques Fourneaux established a wine-business in Champagne, working closely with the Benedictine Abbeys, owners of the finest vineyards in the region at the time. The wine house was moved after the First World War to a large mansion on the Rue de Tambour in which Theobald I of Navarre (1201–1253) had lived. The Taittingers are a family of wine merchants who relocated to the Paris region in 1870 from Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War and the resulting Treaty of Frankfurt (1871) in order to retain their French citizenship. Pierre Taittinger purchased the Château de la Marquetterie in 1932 from the wine house Forest-Fourneaux.
Taittinger Champagne, a Family Business
The Taittinger’s ran the business from 1945 to 1960, headed by Pierre’s third son François, who at the time established the Taittinger cellars located in the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise, built in the 13th century in Gallo-Roman chalk pits that dated back to the 4th century. From 1960 to 2005 François brother Claude assumed the lead after the unfortunate accidental passing of François’. In 2005 the Champagne house was sold to Starwood, a US hotel group, but due to an incompatibility of profitability objectives (short to medium term vs. long term, as wine production takes more time) an agreement was reached in 2006 that saw the return of the champagne house back to the Taittinger family who continue to uphold the family’s legacy and dedication to the production of fine Champagne, blending older and younger generations to continue the tradition.
About the Vines and Vineyards
Planted in the Château’s vineyards since the 18th century was Chardonnay and Pinot noir. The property was developed by a Benedictine monk by the name of Brother Jean Oudart who was one of the founding fathers of champagne wine; later changing hands having belonged to the Jacques Cazotte, a writer. Acquired over the years, the St. Remy, the Plat des Coutures, The Imperiale, the Rouges Fosses, the Beaux Regards, all unite the heritage and history of this Champagne house. Spanning 288 hectares of vineyards spanning 34 different crus, considered among the best in the region, which covers 50% of their grape, needs, the balance obtained through careful selection through independent winemakers and cooperatives. The balance of their grape varieties plays a pivotal role in their wine’s character rendering its freshness and elegance.
Taittinger and the Arts
Taittinger is committed to giving to the arts and plays host to several initiatives including The Taittinger Culinary Prize, testing the talents of young chefs for the past 45 years and the Taittinger Collection, where champagne bottle becomes canvas showcasing contemporary art in a manner that honours Champagne and arts. Wonderful objectives and marriage of fine food and art together blended with the artistry of Champagne.
The Taittinger Experience: Visiting the Vines, Wines and Stepping into History
The champagne house offers year-round visitation. Tours are presented by their guides for those that wish to discover the Art of Champagne making, visit the chalk mines and feast their eyes on the vestiges of a 13th century abbey located 17 meters below the Earth. You can enjoy custom tastings of Taittinger wines and even book events at the Residence of the Counts of Champagne, an exceptional venue for a variety of events. In the Summer, visits are welcome in the heart of the vineyards in the charming village of Hautvillers, a maison de vigerons, a type of home typical of past architecture that was recently restored and offers an opportunity to walk in the steps of the monks who made Champagne famous.
Walk Through the Cellars of Taittinger Champagne