Charles Heidsieck

Represented by Willem Pinçon

Florens-Louis Heidsieck founded Heidsieck & Co. in 1785, and he brought three nephews with him into the business. Christian Heidsieck would go on to found the company that later became Piper-Heidsieck while Henri-Louis Walbaum would found Walbaum, Heidsieck & Co., later known as Heidsieck Co. & Monopole. A third nephew, Charles-Henri Heidsieck, had a son named Charles-Camille, who founded the firm of Charles Heidsieck in 1851.

Charles-Camille Heidsieck was an indefatigable promoter of Champagne, making his first trip to New York as early as 1852. He rapidly gained success in the American market, earning the nickname “Champagne Charlie”, making annual trips there to promote his wines. Among his adventures in the United States was an ill-fated trip to New Orleans during the American Civil War, where he was accused of being a spy and thrown into prison for several months. Charles-Camille Heidsieck passed away in 1893, and the house was managed by his descendants until 1976, when it merged with Champagne Henriot. In 1985, it was purchased by Rémy Martin, now called Rémy-Cointreau.

Under Rémy-Cointreau, Charles Heidsieck went through a dramatic transformation, thanks in large part to former chef de cave Daniel Thibault. Rémy-Cointreau allowed Thibault to reinvent Heidsieck’s non-vintage brut as a complex champagne with a large percentage of reserve wines, investing time and money in his vision of the ideal brut sans année. In order to build up the necessary stocks of reserves to do this, they had to reduce the total volume of sales, repositioning Charles Heidsieck as a more prestigious, up-market brand.

Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©