Represented by Laurent Fresnet
Champagne Henriot celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2008, commemorating the founding of the house in 1808 by Apolline Henriot. While the Henriot family has roots in the Champagne region dating back to the 17th century, it wasn’t until Apolline Henriot created the label Veuve Henriot Ainé that the family’s wines were marketed commercially. In the years that followed, the house would successfully establish a strong presence throughout Europe, eventually including the granting of royal warrants from Prince Fredrick of Holland and François-Joseph II, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. The house has remained in the hands of the Henriot family throughout its history, and its modern-day reputation was largely created by the efforts of Joseph Henriot, who took over the house in 1962. From 1999, Joseph's son Stanislas was in charge of the company, but he resigned in 2010, and since then his younger brother Thomas has been president of the company, the seventh generation of his family to head the house. Laurent Fresnet has been the house's chef de cave since 2006.
Today Henriot owns 30 hectares of vines in the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, cultivated without the use of chemical herbicides or fertilizers. These vineyards account for about one-quarter of the house’s needs, with the rest secured through long-term contracts. Henriot vinifies all of its individual vineyards and parcels separately in small, stainless steel tanks, creating an admirably complex array of base wines to choose from for blending.
Henriot is one of several champagne houses in Reims to own crayères, or chalk pits, quarried 2,000 years ago by the Romans. When they were rediscovered in the 18th century, these beautiful, pyramid-shaped shafts, which number in the hundreds in the southeastern sector of Reims, were connected to one another through additional excavation, and their constant 12 degree temperature (54 degrees Farenheit) and 98 percent humidity are ideal for the storing and aging of champagne. Unlike with other houses such as Ruinart or Pommery, Henriot’s splendid crayères are not open to the public, but are used exclusively for the production of champagne.
Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©