Moët & Chandon: 280 years of festive bubbles

Since it was founded in 1743, Moët & Chandon has continued to pass on exceptional winemaking expertise and to embody an innovative, pioneering spirit from generation to generation. Moët & Chandon has thus become an internationally renowned champagne brand, transforming this family business into a global symbol of success.

 

It’s said that every six seconds, someone in the world opens a bottle of Moët & Chandon. There’s no doubt about it: inseparable from the world of celebration, bottles of champagne from the French producer are particularly prized.

 

Moët & Chandon has been recognized for its expertise in inventing new ways to celebrate success with champagne. The first emblematic gestures associated with this sparkling beverage were born thanks to the Maison, such as the ritual of breaking a bottle at the christening of a new ship. From the cascades of champagne saluting victories on motor racing circuits to the impressive pyramids of flutes deployed around the world, all these symbols were created by Moët & Chandon. Today, the Moët & Chandon mini-flute and bottles adorned with Swarovski crystals have become must-haves at festive events.

 

 

Claude Moët, the company’s founder in 1743, was the first to embody this spirit, transforming a prestigious regional wine into a sought-after and appreciated beverage. His grandson, Jean-Rémy Moët, who took over the business in 1792, pioneered the internationalization of the brand beyond the old continent, rapidly transforming Moët & Chandon into a global symbol of celebration.

 

The vineyard extends over an impressive 1,190 hectares of rich limestone soil, 50% of which is classified as Grand Cru and 25% as Premier Cru, making it the largest vineyard in the Champagne region. Underground, Moët & Chandon’s cellars are the largest in the region. Stretching over a distance of more than 28 kilometers, they form a labyrinthine network where the wine evolves and transforms under ideal conditions of temperature and humidity.

 

A house steeped in history

 

Did you know that Moët Imperial, the House’s emblematic champagne, owes its name to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte? Napoleon Bonaparte visited the Moët & Chandon estates in Épernay on numerous occasions, and honored Jean-Rémy Moët with the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. Legend has it that Napoleon and his troops began the tradition of sabering bottles of Moët champagne to celebrate their victories.

 

 

“I can’t live without champagne; if I win, I deserve it; if I lose, I need it”, declared Napoleon.

 

Épernay’s strategic position on the eastern route linking Paris to major German, Austro-Hungarian and even Russian cities undoubtedly played a crucial role in the company’s commercial success. But this was not the only factor. Jean-Rémy Moët demonstrated exceptional strategic intuition and commercial talent. Accounting records reveal the first order placed by Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of Paris, on 27 Thermidor An 9 (August 15, 1801), followed by a second order in 1803. With Napoleon Bonaparte’s accession to the title of Emperor in 1804, the accounting records then record “9 shipments to the Emperor and his family”. Napoleon was thus a loyal and regular Moët customer, right up to his exile and beyond.

 

These links between the great history of France and the little history of champagne once prompted Talleyrand to say: “My dear Monsieur Jean-Rémy Moët, you are predestined for the future. I declare that, thanks to this glass and its contents, your name will foam longer and better than ours.”

 

Moët & Chandon Grand Day and Effervescence evenings

 

To celebrate champagne, conviviality and joie de vivre, Moët & Chandon organizes annual events that bring together a host of celebrities. These are the “Grand Day” and “Effervescence” evenings, which take place during the festive season in the four corners of the globe, stopping off in some twenty cities including London, Paris, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Moscow, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Singapore. These worldwide celebrations invite friends of the Champagne House to recall Moët’s “savoir-fête”.

 

 

For Grand Day 2019, Moët & Chandon had invited friends and guests of the Champagne House to raise their glasses in a global toast celebrating the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, a global icon of celebration since 1869. This annual tradition, initiated in 2016, continues to honor this epic with a festive program featuring a series of events dedicated to celebrating Moët Impérial. The Brut Impérial cuvée features a blend aged for more than 22 months, giving it a creamier texture and warmer aromas, notably of pear and candied yellow fruit, than its previous versions. A touch of bitterness at the end of tasting pleasantly titillates the taste buds, while preserving the balance that characterizes this champagne, which is less conventional than in the past. For the world’s most widely produced and marketed cuvée, this is quite an achievement.

 

The “Effervescence” evenings feature a golden ambience and a series of festive events, including retail experiences in the host cities. In addition, these celebrations encourage raising a glass for a good cause through their “Toast For A Cause” program, where all proceeds are donated to charity. In 2022, Moët continued its collaboration with The Sapphire Project for the second year running.

 

More recently, at the end of 2022, on the occasion of Moët & Chandon’s 280th anniversary, the “Effervescence” evening was held at the Palais Brongniart in Paris. Guests included celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Emily Ratajkowski, Sienna Miller and Michaela Coel. True to its festive spirit, the Maison also welcomed Belgian singer Angèle, disco icon Gloria Gaynor and DJ Kungs. Celebrities such as Roger Federer, Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and Naomi Harris also accepted the invitation to taste Chef Yannick Alleno’s culinary creations, accompanied by Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2004.

 

 

“The festive season is an important and meaningful time for our House – a time for celebration, sharing with loved ones and generosity. We are honored to bring the values of the world’s most loved champagne to iconic cities,” said Berta de Pablos-Barbier, President & CEO of Moët & Chandon.

 

Moët & Chandon x Daniel Arsham

 

To mark its 280th anniversary, Moët & Chandon unveiled a brand-new cuvée and collaborated with contemporary artist Daniel Arsham to create a work of art and a collection of bottles inspired by the champagne house’s heritage.

 

Entitled “Collection Impériale Création No. 1”, Moët & Chandon’s new creation reflects the House’s concept of “haute œnologie”. Complexity, elegance and preciousness are the watchwords of this champagne, which is based on a blend of three grape varieties from seven different vintages, with each grape meticulously selected and matured in specific environments to magnify its unique qualities.

 

 

Famous for his sculptures blending urban art and antique style, Daniel Arsham drew inspiration from Moët & Chandon’s heritage for this collaboration. He chose to celebrate the stained-glass windows created by glass painter Félix Gaudin, which have adorned the cellar of the Maison’s Épernay estate since the late 1890s. His three-metre-long sculptural work will be on permanent display in Moët & Chandon’s Galerie Impériale, close to the original stained-glass window.

 

At the same time, the artist has also designed 85 limited-edition bottles. These bottles, created in 3D and clad entirely in white, elegantly evoke the design of the stained glass windows, while subtly incorporating references to Château de Saran, owned by Moët & Chandon since 1801.

 

“We created the Collection Impériale Création No. 1, launched for our 280th anniversary, by imagining a champagne designed for eternity: it’s our special relationship with time to grow, select and age champagne that makes Daniel Arsham’s choice so relevant. Daniel’s unique approach to Moët & Chandon’s heritage beautifully captures the essence of our history and our craft,” says Benoît Gouez, the house’s cellar master in a press release.

 

Read also>BLANC SINGULIER, THE RUINART CUVÉE THAT BEARS WITNESS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Featured photo : ©Moët & Chandon

Hugues Reydellet est un jeune journaliste passionné, dont les sujets de prédilection sont l'économie, la culture, la gastronomie, mais aussi l'automobile et le sport. Avec une plume acérée et une curiosité insatiable, Hugues est constamment à la recherche de nouvelles informations brûlantes à rapporter.

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