Armand de Brignac (Maison Cattier)
The celebrity Champagne
The Armand de Brignac story begins with the Maison Cattier, producers of the famous champagne. The first grapevines were planted by the Cattier family in 1625, but the House itself was only founded in 1916, in Chigny-les-Roses, by Jean Cattier. At the time, he was coming back from the war and found Reims in ruins, destroyed by the German army. Most of the vineyards had been razed to the ground as well. In spite of the hardships, Jean decided to produce his own champagne and released the first cuvée in 1918, celebrating the end of WWI.
In 1936, Jean’s son (also named Jean) and his wife Nelly were in charge of the family’s brand. They were helped by their three children, Liliane, Jean-Jacques and Jean-Louis. During the 1950’s, Jean bought a parcel called the Clos du Moulin (2.20 hectares), giving birth to an eponymous cuvée, which would later become one of the best champagnes of the House. Jean-Louis managed the estate during the 1970’s, while his sister Liliane was in charge of the administrative job and their brother Jean-Jacques did the vinification. Thanks to their hard work, the Maison Cattier grew bigger, exporting its champagnes for the first time in Europe and the world, in the 1980’s.
As for the Armand de Brignac brand, it was created in 2006 because the Cattier family wanted to produce a cuvée that could truly encapsulate the richness of the Champagne region. The "Armand de Brignac" name was actually registered somewhere during the 1950’s, and it was coined by Nelly Cattier (Jean-Jacques' mother) and her fondness for novels. The bottle, sporting the famous ace of spades, was designed by famous fashion house André Courrèges. The production is limited, since they can only make 20 bottles per day. A beautiful container, which perfectly showcases the "World’s Best Champagne" as it was decided by Fine Champagne Magazine in 2010.
A title acknowledged by many celebrities across the world, like the hip-hop artist Jay-Z who even bought the brand in 2014. The Armand de Brignac champagne, or "ADB", comes in multiple editions: Brut Gold, Rosé (made with Pinot Noir grapes harvested on the Montagne de Reims), or Blanc de Blancs. There is even a secret line produced on the small Clos Yons, but not much is known about it!
The Maison Cattier is managed by Alexandre, the son of Jean-Jacques, who inherited the estate in 2011, when his father retired (but he still remains President of the supervisory board). Alexandre now works with his two cousins, Agathe and Marie. Together, they have chosen to stick to the family tradition of reasoned agriculture, for both the Clos du Moulin and Armand de Brignac. In 2018, the Cattiers celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Champagne House.
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