House De Venoge
At 33 Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, a magnificent mansion inaugurated in 1900 catches the eye. Its neoclassical style is the work of the architect Charles Blondel, who designed the place for Marcel Gallice, former owner of Perrier-Jouët.More than a century later, it is the De Venoge house that occupies this magnificent building: an initiative of its CEO Gilles Morisson de la Bassetière who, in 2015, decided to move the headquarters of the house from number 46 to number 33 on the prestigious Champagne avenue. A migration of just a few dozen meters, but a symbolic gesture that definitively anchors De Venoge in a sumptuous and aristocratic site, worthy of the great history of this Champagne house.
The story of the house begins in Switzerland in 1825 when Henri-Marc de Venoge decides to leave his native canton of Vaud (his surname is directly linked to the Venoge river, a tributary of the Rhône that flows into Lake Geneva) to settle in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. He set up a wine business, and among the products he sells is "sparkling wine from Champagne". Seeing the success of this effervescent wine, he decided to create his own Champagne house in 1837, called "De Venoge & Cie," and moved to Rue Lochet in Épernay. The following year, he created the first illustrated label in the history of Champagne.
With a strong commercial instinct, Henri-Marc de Venoge adapts his labels to his clients' demands or to specific events. In 1845, his son Joseph de Venoge took over. Under his direction, the house adopted the Cordon Bleu as its symbol, representing both the Venoge river and the Order of the Holy Spirit, the most famous chivalric order of the French monarchy.
The Cordon Bleu is still today the visual signature—and the name—of the house's Brut Sans Année. Joseph, always visionary, launches in 1858 the Cuvée des Princes, in tribute to the Princes of Orange, and in 1860 the Vin du Paradis, a dry Champagne whose Pinot Noir comes from the grand cru communes of the Montagne de Reims, and whose label is also particularly recognizable.
LUXURY AND THE "ART DE VIVRE"
In 1866, Gaëtan de Venoge, son of Joseph, took over the presidency of the house from his father. This great lover of art, also endowed with a certain flair for business, will spectacularly develop Champagne sales for export, particularly to the United States. In 1876, the De Venoge house won the Grand Prize of Excellence at the Philadelphia Universal Exhibition. Now firmly established in the Champagne landscape, De Venoge was one of the founding houses of the Syndicat des Grandes Marques de Champagne in 1882, a new organization aimed at defending the quality and reputation of the wines of the region.
In 1898, as the European high society of the end of the century was fond of Champagne, Yvonne de Venoge, daughter of Gaëtan and her husband the Marquis Adrien de Mun also contributed to amplifying the prestige of the brand: the actress Sarah Bernhardt became one of the most famous fans of De Venoge Champagnes.
Although changing management , the house remained in the family until 1958. It then passed into the hands of different owners and in 1998, it joined the Boizel Chanoine Champagne group. In 2002, Gilles Morisson de la Bassetière became the general manager of the Champagne house, contributing to strengthening its reputation and evolving its range —for example, through the launch of the Louis XV cuvée, paying tribute to the French king who allowed only Champagne wines to be marketed and transported in bottles.
The move in 2015 to the Villa Gallice at 46 Avenue de Champagne in Épernay was another bold idea from Gilles Morisson de la Bassetière, which definitively elevated the De Venoge house to a dimension of luxury and art de vivre, in line with its prestigious history.
THE STYLE OF DE VENOGE CHAMPAGNE
The continuity of the style of De Venoge Champagne is ensured by Isabelle Tellier, the cellar master of the house. A native of Laon in the Aisne region, she is a graduate oenologist from the University of Reims, with over thirty years of experience in champagne production, allowing her to establish high-quality standards for the signature De Venoge cuvées: sourcing from the best vineyards, low dosages, using only the first press, and long aging times.
Her expertise enables her to express all the facets of the three great Champagne grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) and the great terroirs of Premier and Grand Crus – Trépail, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Montagne de Reims, Les Riceys... A palette that constitutes the balance point of the house's champagnes, between intensity and elegance.
The other great specificity of De Venoge Champagne is its extraordinary wine library, preciously preserved in its cellars, making it one of the rare houses to offer great wine enthusiasts an incredible collection of vintage wines (dating back to 1970). Disgorgement is done upon request, and subject to a 4 to 8-week delay.
EXCEPTIONAL WINE TOURISM
The Hôtel De Venoge – formerly the Maison Gallice – is a superb private mansion built in 1900 , acquired and renovated by the champagne house in 2015. It not only accommodates the headquarters of De Venoge Champagne but is also the epicenter of a high-end wine tourism activity, in a refined and exclusive setting.
The "Suites du 33" (4 rooms and a luxury apartment) offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy an exceptional stay in the outbuildings of the Hôtel De Venoge. The former stables of the mansion have been transformed into a champagne bar, L'Ecurie, offering access to the English garden and the house's wine library.
Several visit formulas (Experience, Premium, Luxe Vintage) allow visitors to tour the premises, taste several cuvées, and immerse themselves in the luxurious art of living of the De Venoge house. To extend the experience to the world's most beautiful tables, enthusiasts can join the Club des Princes, which resurrects the club created in 1858 by Joseph de Venoge during the launch of the Princes' cuvée and brings together the greatest gastronomes from around the world.