The Philipponnat family have been growing grapes in Champagne since 1522. The House was founded in 1910 by Pierre Philipponnat. Charles Philipponnat took over as CEO in 1999 and has improved the quality and production vastly by implementing smaller oak barrels, keeping different vineyard plots separate and utilizing only the first press. The jewel in the crown of the House is the historic and iconic 5.5 hectares 'Clos des Goisses' vineyard that sits on a steep, south-facing 45° slope starting at the Marne River. This is one of the warmest vineyard sites in all of Champagne and is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In 1935 'Clos des Goisses' was the first single vineyard Champagne produced and it would take over 50 years for other Houses to start producing serious Champagne just from a single Clos.
Philipponnat applies natural methods to work the soil, hoeing by hand and plowing with horses. The House's expertise is particularly apparent in its use of the solera process. This technique is a very longstanding House tradition; it consists of keeping reserve wines in oak barrels and including them in non-vintage blends (in a proportion of one quarter to one third) and using this blend as a reserve wine for the following blend.
This progressive dilution allows every bottle to retain a trace of previous years' wines blended since the very beginning. Successive Cellar Masters have attached great importance to handing down this expertise. Philipponnat was the first Champagne House to indicate the main year used in its non-vintage blends, the dosage, and the date of disgorgement on back labels, informing consumers and wine experts of the characteristics of each cuvée.
Varietals planted :
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier
Winery production :
Charles Philipponnat, Thierry Garnier (chef de cave)
Total acres planted :
42 acres (18 ha); includes Clos des Goisses: 13 acres (5.5 ha)