Undisturbed by the inevitable vagaries of history and nature, the Philipponnat family has remained faithfully committed to the land and traditions of Champagne for over five centuries. Although the eponymous maison was founded in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in 1910 by Pierre and Auguste Philipponnat, the family had long made the village its spiritual and professional home. Records show that the Philipponnats owned vineyards in Le Léon, between Aÿ and Dizy, as far back as 1522 – a date full of symbolism and celebratory meaning. Since then, 16 generations have defined a lineage of talent, craftsmanship, winemaking skill and, perhaps most importantly, passion for the land, vines and wines of Champagne. This humble connection to the land and its people remains at the core of what Champagne Philipponnat is today.
In recent years, and with Charles Philipponnat at the helm of the maison since 2000, the character of the Philipponnat’s wines has only affirmed itself, consolidating a style founded in history and tradition. The house’s imprint is very much a reflection of its historical trajectory and deep-rooted legacy, its philosophy perfectly conveyed through the choices in both vineyard and cellar. The use of oak-aged perpetual reserves is one of the trademarks of Philipponnat, lending complexity and an historical thread to the profile of each cuvée. Robustly flavoured without losing elegance, rich while inherently fresh, each wine is a piece of a narrative now in its 500th chapter.
The classicism of Philipponnat cannot be understood separately from the charismatic twinkle in Charles’ eyes, which reflects the same wonder and sense of belonging that inspired his ancestors, 500 years ago. This very same ethos is translated, quite transparently, into the style of Philipponnat’s champagnes – wines of great purity, with finely carved yet opulent flavours, generous texture and poised capacity to age.
Five centuries celebrated
To mark the fifth centennial anniversary of the Philipponnat family’s commitment to Champagne, the maison has launched a book, co-written by Charles Philipponnat himself. The volume documents the family’s past as growers and merchants, as well as the evolution of the maison and its iconic cuvées. One of which is the aptly named 1522, a living tribute to the family’s settlement date in Aÿ. The latest iteration of this emblematic wine, from the 2015 vintage, is also being launched as part of the momentous anniversary. A bottled piece of history, that exalts the legacy of a family at the service of the vines of Champagne.