Historic Champagne house from Mesnil-sur-Oger
The legend of Salon began with one man: Eugène Aimé Salon, born in 1867 in the little village of Pocancy. Although he was destined to become a teacher, young Aimé had other ambitions. He left his native Champagne region and moved to Paris, in the hope of becoming a successful businessman. He started an apprenticeship in a Montreuil fur trading company and was so good at his job that he soon got promoted. Eventually, he became the new manager. Aimé was now part of the crème de la crème in Paris, but still… This man, born in Champagne, was struggling to find a bottle of Champagne worth anything during all the dinner parties he attended.
He decided that enough was enough. He decided that he’d produce the purest Champagne he would ever taste, with no blending whatsoever. Following the advice of his brother-in-law (who was an oenologist), Aimé Salon bought a hectare of vineyard on the Côte des Blancs terroir, near the village of Mesnil-sur-Oger, and got to work. In 1905, he created the very first Blanc de Blancs Champagne, made using only Chardonnay grapes. Eugène Aimé was satisfied. He didn’t want to sell his champagne, prefering to keep it for his own personal consumption. However, over the years, his ever-expanding circle of friends pushed him to go a step beyond. Thus, in 1920, Aimé founded the Salon House.
His first sold cuvée was an instant hit. The classiest Parisian restaurants wanted to feature Salon Champagne on their wine list. Everybody saw Eugène Aimé as a pioneer, but he was also a true perfectionist. He only sold the best vintages he produced, which severely limited the number of available bottles but strengthened the popularity of his exceptional cuvées. After his death in 1941, the Salon House was managed by his sister Léa. She sold it to the CDC company (which stands for “Compagnie Dubonnet-Cinzano-Byrrh”) in 1963. Later, the Salon brand was bought by the Pernod Ricard group, and then once again by Laurent-Perrier in 1988.
Since 1905, there have only been 42 vintages released by the Salon House. The last of these grands crus champagnes was from 2012, made in accordance with the original founder’s vision. Today still, the famous “Cuvée S” from the Salon House is considered to be one of the best champagnes ever made. Connoisseurs all over the world see it as the perfect expression of its Côte des Blancs terroir.
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