TOTEM by Champagne Henri Giraud
1990-2010. Twenty years on!
Although the family has been making wine on the Aÿ Grand Cru lands since the 17th century, on 7 June this year Champagne Henri Giraud celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the “new firm”. As it happens, this was a twofold anniversary :
- In December 1990 the family estate joined the exclusive Union of Champagne Houses group (UMC). This made it possible for the firm to buy grapes produced independently by other members of the family, and to weave solid partnerships with makers of other champagne vintages. Claude Giraud thus united the family and opened up decisive qualitative prospects.
- In September 1990 Claude used this vintage’s extraordinarily fine balance to create “Grande Cuvée” Henri Giraud Champagne. The vintage is matured in small oak barrels in a long tradition that combines Champagne grapes and Champagne oak. This iconic vintage was quite naturally named "Cuvée Fût de Chêne".
- On 7 June 2010 around 500 guests, including wine growers and makers from around the world, gathered to celebrate this major coming of age of Henri Giraud champagne on its twentieth anniversary.
Some might have thought that twenty years is a bit young for a coming of age, that is until they had tasted the 1990 vintage Aÿ Grand Cru Cuvée Fût de Chêne that was served on that momentous day, a vintage of quite extraordinary freshness, with perfect balance and exceptional potential.
TOTEM, a casket designed as the emblem of this twentieth anniversary, contains a bottle each of three iconic vintages – 1990, 1998 and 2000.
The casket is made of oak from the Argonne forest, a legendary tree rooted in our culture, nourishing and protecting our champagne wine.
It is a tribute to this historic forest of Champagne which, apart from the oak used for casks, provides the champagne industry with our tough black glass bottles that withstand the pressure of expanding carbon dioxide, and nurtured the legendary first brand, Dom Pérignon, founded at the heart of this forest in 1639, at a time when the Giraud Oak, one of the largest and most beautiful trees in the forest was still a mere sapling.