The oldest of the three Heidsieck champagne houses, Piper-Heidsieck was founded in 1785 by Florens-Louis Heidsieck. Ambitious to make his mark, Florens-Louis created a cuvée which he presented in person to Queen Marie-Antoinette; a patronage that one assumes was, at a certain point, abruptly severed. Upon his death, Florens-Louis’ nephew Christian Heidsieck went into partnership with Henri-Guillaume Piper, an energetic entrepreneur who did much to champion champagne throughout the world. Christian died suddenly, with his widow marrying Henri- Guillaume and the company becoming known as Piper-Heidsieck.
Piper-Heidsieck is today owned by the French Descours family, who adore the wines. The rejuvenation of Piper Heidsieck was begun by Daniel Thibault, who passed on in 2002, ahead of his time. The current Chef de Cave, Regis Camus, worked with Daniel and has continued to direct Piper’s impressive evolution. At four million bottles Piper-Heidsieck is one of the top ten producers in terms of volume. The house quality is at an all time high, with more potentially to come. Their prestige cuvée, Rare, was first launched in 1976, and since then the wine has lived up to its name, with the 2006 vintage just the ninth to be released. A hidden gem in the range is the Piper-Heidsieck Vintage – just out and derived from 20 Grand and Premier Cru vineyards, the superbly opulent and elegant 2012 will cellar comfortably for another ten years.
Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay