Meet The Winemakers
It’s not much of a secret that Charles Heidsieck is a perennial staff and customer favourite Champagne at Philglas & Swiggot. Charles Heidsieck founded his house in 1851 and charmed American society with his debonair personality, developing an American love affair with Champagne and earning himself the nickname ‘Champagne Charlie’.
In the modern era, Charles Heidsieck has a fabulous reputation for quality and superb complexity for all its wines. The International Wine Challenge, one of two major global wine competitions based in London, has nominated Charles Heidsieck Sparkling Winemaker of the Year no less than 16 times – nobody else has won it more than twice.
Charles Heidsieck has built exceptional relationships with the best growers across Champagne. Precise selection of grapes takes place from 60 crus. Vineyards which are integral to producing grapes that sustain the house style are Oger for Chardonnay for its texture, floral notes and ageing ability, Ambonnay for Pinot Noir for its power, vinosity and fruit, and Verneuil for Meunier for its acidity, body and aromatics. Charles Heidsieck owns 80 hectares together with its sister House Piper-Heidsieck and together grow grapes sustainably, being certified both HVE (High Environmental Value) and VDC (Viticulture Durable En Champagne).
The house is small enough to maintain an astonishing stock of reserve wines that are fundamental to the style and character of its non-vintage Champagnes. The non-vintage is a classic blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, made with at least 40% reserve wines of an average 10 years of age. It then undergoes a further three to five years on tirage (ageing on the fermentation lees) before release.
This commitment to maturity is unmatched amongst all the well-known marques of Champagne, except perhaps by Krug whose Grand Cuvee is a non-vintage legend but at four times the price.
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