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Champagne Henri Giraud: inside the creative process behind a great wine

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Henri Giraud is one of the rare Champagne houses that remains independent and family-run.

The maison owns ten hectares, mainly planted to Pinot Noir on chalk soils, and purchases grapes from selected growers for a total equivalent of 25 hectares at its disposal. Among these are fabulous Grand Crus, providing prime fruit for the house’s top cuvées.

Henri Giraud is the champagne brand that everyone is talking about. Much has happened since the American wine critic Robert Parker wrote: “Henri Giraud, the greatest champagne you’ve never heard of”, a phrase he repeated often, followed by: “This is the way I think Krug SHOULD taste”. Champagne Henri Giraud has remained true to its ethos, ploughing its own furrow, and challenging the received wisdom & conventions in the world of fine wine. The result is a modern legend in the making.

Claude Giraud in the Henri Giraud estate vineyards

“We are craftsmen, but we also draw inspiration from ancestral methods to progress to the next stage, that of artistic creation”, explains Claude Giraud, the 12th generation of the family at the helm of the house. ‘Since 1990, freedom to think differently, constant curiosity, and the behests from Henri Giraud style’s enthusiasts, naturally led us down the ‘0% stainless steel’ path.’

Lovers of Champagne Henri Giraud are undoubtedly among the world’s most quality-aware and sophisticated fine wine connoisseurs. Quite naturally, we were duty-bound to pioneer and remain faithful to this approach. Low yields, small harvest crates and the finest fruit, are the sole guarantors of exceptional quality to create the wines that bear the Henri Giraud name.”

Customisation, creativity, and respect for tradition… each Henri Giraud bottle is unique – a quest for perfection with craftsmanship and nature at the heart of the creative process. The movement created by Champagne Henri Giraud isn’t about going back to nature but looking forward to a nature-rich civilisation. ‘Every harvest demands exceptional commitment” Claude Giraud continues. “Establishing the ideal point of maturity for each harvest is key, just as is the picking schedule and the fractioning, through careful tasting, of pressing batches. After that there’s no further intervention. ‘The less you touch it, the better it is’, as the old saying goes.’

Monitoring the wine is a fine art. “Preclude nothing, be bound by nothing, make good wine naturally” is the motto of Champagne Henri Giraud.  ‘We use the word ‘naturally’ as in ‘with nature’’ explains Claude. ‘Since ancient times wine has been an integral part of the Human journey. It is a human creation designed to nurture the intellect and a key component of our social structures. To be Human is to be unique. To produce naturally is to dedicate all one’s experimentation, learning, culture, sensitivity, and passion to the greater good of wine. Such passion is nothing less than the highest peak of individual experience.’

Discover more about Champagne Henri Giraud here

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