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Nicolas Feuillatte owner poised to purchase Champagne Henriot

Several bids were tabled for the well-known Champagne house but owner Artémis Domaines looks set to go with Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne, which already owns France's leading Champagne brand Nicolas Feuillatte.

Champagne’s largest grower co-operative has entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase Champagne Henriot from Artémis Domaines.

Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne (TEVC), which owns the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Castelnau brands, was one of several bidders for Henriot.

Owner Artémis Domaines examined the offers and then selected TEVC as its preferred bidder, having decided that it offers the ‘best guarantees for preserving the savoir-faire of this emblematic Champagne house’.

TEVC was formed in December 2021 when the co-operative behind the Nicolas Feuillatte label merged with Castelnau owner Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne.

It created a regional powerhouse encapsulating 6,000 growers and 3,000 hectares under vine, with a projected annual turnover of €287m.

Nicolas Feuillatte is already the market-leading Champagne brand in France, and it is the third largest brand on a global basis, after Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

The co-op also purchased Champagne Henri Abelé from the Henkell-Freixenet Group in 2019, which added around 300,000 bottles to its annual sales volume.

The plan has always been to continue expanding, and it is now on the verge of adding the prestigious Champagne Henriot brand to its portfolio.

Henriot was founded in Reims in 1808. It built up a reputation for producing high-quality vintage and non-vintage cuvées from mostly Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.

The maison had been under family stewardship since 1994, when Joseph Henriot left Veuve Clicquot to manage the estate.

Last year, Artémis Domaines acquired Maisons & Domaines Henriot, which included Champagne Henriot, Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune, William Fèvre in Chablis and Beaux Frères in Oregon.

Artémis Domaines, which is controlled by the Pinault family, also owns Château Latour, Clos de Tart and Château-Grillet.

In December 2022, Artémis Domaines completed the purchase of the prestigious Champagne Jacquesson.

The Pinault family seemingly decided that one high-end Champagne label was enough for the group, so it decided to sell off Champagne Henriot.

TEVC is now in exclusive negotiations with Artémis Domaines, suggesting that a sale will be completed soon.

Writing for Decanter earlier this month, Simon Field MW described Champagne Henriot as ‘a gemstone, a medium-sized house producing just under a million bottles per year, with some magnificent vineyards across the region, many of them in bijou grand and premier cru sites’.

The Hemera cuvée is the jewel in its crown, and Field has just awarded the 2008 Hemera a score of 95 points.

Alice Tétienne, formerly of Krug, is the cellar master at Champagne Henriot. She started her career at Nicolas Feuillatte, in 2015, so it will be a homecoming for her if the deal goes through.

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