Founded in 1730, Chanoine Frères is the second-oldest Champagne house.
Nearly three centuries later, Chanoine continues to develop its heritage and pass on the pleasure of Champagne, from generation to generation, in France and around the world.
In 1730, under the reign of Louis XV, Pierre Chanoine (1698-1774), a young merchant with an innovative spirit, excavated the first Champagne wine cellars in Épernay. He was one of the first to assemble various cuvées from the region and bottle diverse Champagne wines. Pierre made the judicious choice of setting up his business in the Faubourg de la Folie, along the new royal road that opened France to all of Europe.
Pierre Chanoine, a visionary and a dynamic young man, traveled the continent and shipped his Champagne wines to the royal courts of France and all of Europe as far as Russia, where the young tsarina, Elisabeth Petrovna, had just been crowned. She loved parties and costume balls where Champagne and the French spirit bubbled and sparkled.
Pierre’s eldest son Jean-Baptiste Chanoine (1724-1790) became an important merchant and notable champenois citizen, building his business and shipping his bottles of “saute-bouchon” (“pop-cork”) wines. Champagne continued its conquest of the aristocracies in France, in England, in the Netherlands, and in the courts of Frederick the Great of Prussia and Tsarina Catherine II, Empress of all the Russias.
The brothers Jacques-Louis (1754-1844) and Pierre II Chanoine (1759-1824), sons of Jean-Baptiste and grandsons of the founder, formed an association. Together, in 1787, they founded a house dedicated exclusively to the wines of Champagne.
The French revolution also adopted Champagne at the Festival of the Federation, held on 14 July, 1790 on the Champ de Mars in Paris.
The fourth generation, Pierre’s sons Jean-Baptiste (1784-1855) and Jean-Louis (1787-1874), took up the family business. The company officially took on the name Chanoine Frères in 1815, stamping it with the family spirit that has guided its destiny.
It was the year of the Congress of Vienna; diplomats from around Europe celebrated the return on peace at the Champagne suppers given by Prince Talleyrand.
The business prospered, and the Chanoine brothers acquired larger cellars in the Faubourg du Commerce. Jean-Louis served as mayor of Épernay from 1841 to 1848.
The Chanoine brothers handed down a flourishing business to their respective sons Eugène (1818-1900) and Louis-Amand (1814-1891). The economic dynamism of the Second French Empire and the galas given at the palaces of the Tuileries and Compiègne encouraged the expansion of sales of Champagne wines.
The cousins Eugène and Louis-Amand continued the tradition of exportation, extending it to include the Americas. The house of Chanoine Frères again grew on the rue du Commerce, the future avenue de Champagne.
Eugène’s son Henri (1857-1913), the sixth generation of the Chanoine dynasty, took over management of a prosperous house whose vineyards stretched over Épernay, Hautvillers, Dizy, Chouilly, and Pierry.
The year of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), more than 32 million visitors from all over the world came to Paris to admire the progress of industry, the sciences, and the arts of republican France. Champagne flowed and the house of Chanoine Frères exported it to the four corners of the world.
Henri, who passed on prematurely in 1913, was spared seeing his Champagne cellars ravaged by German troops in 1914 and his house destroyed by the bombardments in July 1918. Taken over by a friend of the family, Monsieur Droz, the House of Chanoine Frères resumed business and quickly began exporting to the new European countries of Greater Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and the Baltic countries.
In 1919, a ship carrying a cargo of 1904-vintage Chanoine Champagne was sunk by a stray mine in the Baltic Sea; Danish divers brought up a few bottles from her hold 80 years later.
Monsieur Philippe Baijot takes over management of Chanoine Frères and re-launches the business. He has the conviction that Chanoine Frères is a part of the heritage of the Champagne region and is determined to return it to a preeminent role in the world of Champagne. His ambition is to mount major industrial and commercial projects for the House.
Chanoine Champagnes are returning in force and successfully beginning to conquer new generations of consumers through modern free distribution.
Chanoine Frères builds one of the first and largest above-ground cellars in the Champagne region on the Allée du Vignoble in Reims. The following year, Chanoine Frères launches a new Champagne cuvée that would achieve great success: Tsarine.
With its innovative fluted bottle evoking one of the domes of St. Basil’s, Tsarine is a tribute to the historic and privileged relations between Chanoine and Russia that reach back to the 18th century. Already in 1999, Tsarine Cuvée Premium was awarded 3 stars in the Hachette Wine Guide.
Madame Isabelle Tellier is appointed Head Wine-Maker of the House of Chanoine Frères. One of the first women to hold that position in a Champagne house, in a few years, with audacity and recognized talent, Isabelle Tellier develops cuvées of superb quality for Chanoine and Tsarine.
Tsarine Rosé comes into being; meanwhile, Chanoine Grande Réserve and Chanoine Premier Cru receive high notes in the Hachette Wine Guide.
As Tsarine Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is being launched, its "brother," Chanoine Blanc de Blancs, is listed as an “instant favorite” by the Hachette Wine Guide.
Tsarine’s launch of its prestige cuvée Tzarina is widely noticed, as is its Matryoshka Russian Doll packaging collection.
The commercial dynamic continues with the launch of the Chanoine Frères Réserve Privée line, brut and rosé, giving the house’s original cuvée a new impetus.
Two happy events mark the year: The launch of Tsarine’s Orium cuvée and the first vintage cuvée of the Chanoine Frères Réserve Privée line – the 2013 vintage. Isabelle Tellier, Head Wine-Maker, receives her sixtieth distinction for a cuvée created for the House of Chanoine Frères.
The House of Chanoine Frères continues its history and will celebrate its tercentenary.
It cultivates its heritage, continues to innovate, and accelerates the development of Chanoine and Tsarine, which attract and win the loyalty of more and more consumers in France and in the world.