May 26, 2021
Champagne luxury – House of Champagne
House of Champagne (Poland) is part of the House of Champagne project with global aspirations, built on 10 years of experience on the Polish market. Based on a rich, unique offer of champagnes and sparkling wines from our own import and a selection of still wines from around the world. The company, right after Moet Hennessy Polska and Wyborowa S.A. – Pernod Ricard is the third largest importer and distributor of champagne in Poland, operating on the wholesale (HoReCa), retail (through its own stores) and training markets, sharing champagne knowledge during training, tasting and dinner commented on for sommeliers, restaurants and private persons.
Beata Puziow talks to Eugenia Havryk, Retail Sales Development Manager at House of Champagne (Poland).
How many champagnes are on offer at House of Champagne?
In the HoC offer (this is what we call our company in short) we have over 350 consciously selected champagnes only – single-strain Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noir, 100% Pinot Meunier and all other possible cuvee. Vintage champagne, rose, organic, brut Nature (those that do not have a dosage, so in everyday life we simply say that they have no sugar), those produced according to the phases of the moon, in various capacities from 200ml to 9L, from those Great Champagne Houses and the medium, small and niche that I would like to talk about the most, because these wines have a soul, tradition and elegance.
However, House of Champagne is not only champagne, as it might seem, it is also excellent sparkling wines and still wines from all corners of the world. We like bubbles and we specialize in them, first of all, Prosecco, Cavs, Corpinats, sparkling red wines or even Pet-Nat’s, we are also familiar with each other, each wine is unique and we like it for that.
We really have everything our customers need, both in different price and “taste” categories. Each person has a “personality” and each wine will find its consumer, both sweet and very dry wine – “something different for everyone” and we have it all. It is the huge selection of labels from small, family-run Champagne Houses, although recognized and adored all over the world, that constitutes the greatest value of the House of Champagne offer and is responsible for its enormous diversity on the wine market.
What, apart from size, of course, is the difference between the small Champagne House and the Big House?
The annual scale of production of small, independent producers ranges from 30 to 100 thousand bottles in one vineyard, they are really micro-entrepreneurs, often working for literally several people. On the other side of the barricade there are labels known to the whole world, mass produced by companies such as the aforementioned Moet Hennessy or Pernod Ricard, where the number of bottles of only one of many brands exceeds 25 million per year.
Small producers, called Recultant Manipulant, producing champagne based on long-term, and often even long-lasting family traditions, show great care for the natural environment and every detail of production.
Starting from planting vines in our own lands, through our own grape harvest, the production of wine from only our own grapes and on the premises of our own vineyard, ending with independent sale.
For a craftsman, no stage of production can take place outside his own vineyard, it is these strict rules that distinguish boutique from mass production so much.
In many Artisan Champagne Houses boasting the name of Recultant Manipulant, each bottle that hits the market passes through the hands of the owners themselves, who, by signing champagnes with their own names for generations, feel a great responsibility for their quality.
Grand Mesons, or those Great Champagne Houses, buy grapes from all over Champagne, and in order to keep up with the multi-million dollar production requirements, they are also unable to carry out the entire production process in their own vineyard, and a number of processes have been automated over the years.
Do small producers have to fight for a place on the market?
This is an unequal fight. The little champagne houses do not have enough resources for international marketing, and usually even people who could do it. Some of them have recently started handling e-mail, where until a few years ago we communicated only with some producers by fax. But going back to the essence, these small producers prefer to invest primarily in quality, and not in PR and marketing campaigns. Grand Mesones has advertising budgets of millions and even billions. On the other hand … small producers defend themselves with incredible quality and diversity that cannot be taken away from them, as well as the recognition of the best sommeliers and critics in the world, a place in the cards of the best star restaurants, or honorable places in the most important world rankings. They also set up associations, clubs and organizations of independent producers to jointly improve and promote their champagnes and the culture of drinking champagne.
However, in order for the end customer to be able to find out about such champagne, listen to it and, above all, have a choice, places such as House of Champagne are very necessary, where we create the so-called “bridge” between Polish consumers and these boutique wines.
Did you mention the Clubs, what is their activity?
Independent Boutique Producers, not associated in large alcohol concerns, account for only 30% of production and 10% of annual exports of Champagne.
In order to protect their own interests, maintain valuable traditions and promote an approach to viticulture based on the highest quality standards, the associations of independent winemakers of Champagne have been created.
Established in 1971, Club Trésors de Champagnes was the first of its kind and the only one with such strict membership conditions.
Initially, it consisted of 14 small but well-known producers. Today, on its 50th anniversary, the Club owns 28 Champagne Houses from the best regions of Champagne, each of which proudly represents the unique champagne style of its region / terroir.
Each member may use the Club Tresor logo on all their products, which must be produced in accordance with the strict rules of the organization, including the necessity to have the Recultant Manipulant status, impeccable care for the natural environment, as well as the hygiene of the vineyard and the production process itself.
In addition, each producer of the Club submits the wine of each vintage twice to the so-called “blind tasting” carried out by a team of recognized oenologists and winemakers.
The first tasting takes place at the stage of still wine after the first fermentation, the second – of the same wine after the second fermentation and three years of aging on yeast sediment.
Only producers who successfully pass both tests are deemed worthy to put their champagne in a special “Special Club” bottle.
The introduction of this unique bottle, which distinguishes the outstanding vintage champagnes of Club Tresors de Champagne members from other producers, was one of the first decisions after the Club was founded in the 1970s. The vessel is extremely stylish and associated with luxury, while at the same time referring to the traditional champenoise bouteille. Importantly, no one except Club Tresor members can use this world-famous bottle, which is the benchmark for the highest quality champagne.
By reaching for each Club Tresors de Champagne champagne label, you can be sure that it is a top-class product, while each Special Club champagne is an vintage masterpiece tailored to its terroir.
Could you name your favorite champagnes from the Club?
Among Club Tresors champagnes, it is difficult to find the weaker ones, but there are items that you simply have to try, such as Paul Bara Special Club Rose 2014. Paul Bara is generally my favorite producer today. I think I will have the opportunity to tell you more about him.
I would also point out Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Spécial Club 2012, Rémy Massin 2012 or Vazart-Coquart Extra Brut, because without them the world of champagne would be completely different.
Where to get champagne?
Our House of Champagne specialty stores offer not only a wide range of Club Tresors de Champagne champagnes, but also hundreds of other selected items from renowned producers, both smaller and large Champagne Houses, including Ruinart, Bollinger and Dom Perignon. In addition, a selection of several dozen top-class sparkling wines and several hundred white and red wines from around the world.
We, a professional team in love with wines, help our customers in choosing the best labels. Wines are our passion, where the first and most important requirement to work with us is definitely to love wine!
In addition, every day customers of our stores have the opportunity to taste selected labels, which in my opinion is very important in discovering new flavors and developing taste buds. We feel great pleasure in sharing our passion and educating about the culture of drinking wine and champagne that is unique.
Probably nowhere on the map of Poland we will learn so much about champagne as we do here, it is a place where customers come back with pleasure.
Apropo’s tastes … can you reveal the secret you spoke about recently?
Yes, almost everything is ready! Before the summer holidays, a new concept by House of Champagne will be launched at Karolkowa Street in Warsaw’s Wola district. It will be a combination of a specialist shop, wine bar and full gastronomy with a seasonal menu, where customers with the most demanding palates will satisfy their tastes.
We won’t have a classic wine list like in any other restaurant. You will be able to order any full bottle from the store shelf for the table, which means that our store part will function as a wine list.
Wine list with nearly 200 champagne labels. It will definitely be the only such place in Poland! In addition, there are about 300 labels of white and red wines and 50 types of sparkling wines.
Of course, there will also be plenty of wines and champagnes by the glass. The plan is to create a unique wine list by the glass, but we will reveal the details of this uniqueness later, a bit of mystery should remain.
Already in the holiday calendar, we are planning regular tastings and commented dinners, during which you will be able to get to know, among others, the wonderful world of champagne and more.
Restaurant, specialty stores, training. Is there any other place to drink your champagnes?
Yes, our champagnes are in many places! The oldest and, at the same time, the strongest branch of the company is cooperation with the HoReCa industry, which has been using the widest and most diverse champagne offer in Poland for 10 years, i.e. the House of Champagne offer.
Each, the most sophisticated restaurant, hotel or bar will certainly find interesting items for their customers. We work with hundreds of the most distinguished restaurants, hotels and bars in Poland, but not only.
Our clients are also private individuals, champagne enthusiasts, collectors, whom we advise in the organization of private or company wine cellars. Our clients are also corporations, law firms, the media, pharmaceutical, automotive and many other industries, which reward their clients and contractors with the best drinks at reasonable prices.
And remember that you don’t have to have a special occasion to drink champagne, champagne is always a good companion for everything, as Napoleon Bonaparte used to say, “If you win you deserve champagne, if you lose you just need it.”
See you in House of Champagne!
A: Warszawa, 02-797, ul. Franciszka Klimczaka 17
T. 600 011 957
W: House of Champagne