Charles Heidseick established his Champagne House in 1851, which remains one of the greatest names producing some of the finest bubbles in Champagne. Heidseick’s larger-than-life personality greatly aided his marketing campaign in America, which not only popularised Champagne in the States for the first time, but resulted in his unforgettable nickname of ‘Champagne Charlie’! Nevertheless, Heidseick’s forays across the pond were not entirely smooth going as in 1862, during the American Civil War, he was arrested and detained for six months on suspicion of being a French spy; this caused diplomatic tension between the French and US governments and became known as the Heidseick Incident.
In regard to his Champagne production, Charles would often flout convention and refuse the influence of others. This distinctive and unconventional approach – known as ‘typiquement Charles’ – helped to make the Champagne House truly unique. The consistently high quality of their wines has continued thanks to their strong relationship with various experienced growers across Champagne. This access to various crus, along with precise grape selection and an impressive catalogue of reserve wines, gives the Charles Heidseick Champagnes unparalleled texture and complexity. As with some other Champagne Houses, Charles Heidseick has a maze of underground chalk cellars in which they store and age their wines, where the temperature stays at a perfect, constant 10 degrees centigrade.
The foundations of the House’s more recent success was established in 1985 when Remy-Martin, the proprietors, gave Daniel Thilbault, their remarkable winemaker and cellar master, carte blanche and almost no financial restraints in order to arrive at the best possible vintage and non-vintage cuvees. Continued under the direction of Regis Camus and then Thierry Roset, Heidseick’s cellar masters have been inspired by their founder’s penchant for thinking outside the box. Over the past two decades, they have been awarded the titles of ‘Best Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’ at the London International Wine Challenge no less than twelve times!