Timeless Elegance:
De Venoge Champagne


As we raise our glasses to celebrate the festive season, it seems fitting to delve into the world of a renowned Champagne house that has stood the test of time with grace and sophistication. De Venoge stands for excellence, heritage, and nearly two centuries of crafting fine Champagne.

Interview with Hervé Delabesse, The French Wine Guy, Premier Cru Wines.

What makes De Venoge special for you?

We reintroduced it to South Africa in August 2022 and we’ve seen dynamic growth since. The Cordon Bleu Brut NV was voted the best non-vintage brut at Champagne Masters. This is always a key category for a Champagne house. It’s a testimony to the style and craftsmanship of De Venoge. Taste it and you will agree that it lives up to its fantastic ratings.

It’s considered a smaller Maison, producing around half a million bottles annually, allowing it to focus on blending superb quality wine.

They have a stunning mansion house – we’ve sent many groups there. It’s just enchanting, with great guest rooms and the people are truly hospitable. The house literally sits on a treasure trove: a wine library of nearly 20,000 vintage bottles of Champagne!

Can you share a little of the history?

The story of De Venoge begins in 1837 in when Henri-Marc de Venoge, an emigré from the Swiss canton Vaud, founded the house in Épernay. The Maison adopted its emblem ‘Cordon Bleu’ in homage to the little Venoge river in Switzerland, which empties into Lake Geneva and to represent the Knights of the Order of the Holy Spirit. From its inception, De Venoge distinguished itself by embracing the principles of elegance, innovation and an unwavering commitment to quality. The iconic "Cordon Bleu" collection, with its royal blue label and silk ribbon, has become synonymous with the house's commitment to luxury and refinement.

An interesting sidenote to their history is reflected in the branding. It pays tribute to the times of knights, princes and kings…

De Venoge was the creator of the first ever illustrated label in the history of Champagne, in 1838. They have fabulous libraries on the estate, one of which exhibits original, coloured labels from many of the old Champagne Maisons which were designed by De Venoge.

The 19th century saw De Venoge gaining prominence as a preferred supplier to European courts, due to the exceptional quality of their Champagnes.

The bottles are beautiful and their shape makes quite a statement. In the early 1800s, before the art of riddling was perfected, the deposits in Champagne resulted in a slightly cloudy wine. The Princes of Orange would have the wine poured into special decanters to reduce the cloudiness. To honour this tradition, the De Venoge Princes Blanc de Blancs NV bottle shape is a replica of the decanters of old. There is still one of the original decanters on display at the Maison.

At the top of the range, is the Louis XV cuvée produced exclusively from grapes from the best Grand Cru villages and only from the best vintages. At the entrance to the hotel, there is a statue of Louis XV signing the famous decree of May 25, 1728, which authorised that only the wines of Champagne could be marketed and transported in bottles… allowing for the sparkling process to happen in bottles.

How do they achieve this reputation for quality?

There are two types of Champagne, one can be enjoyed while seated (a gastronomic wine) and the other is best enjoyed standing (for celebration). I see De Venoge as the latter – perfect for special occasions. At the heart of their success is a deep-rooted passion for winemaking. They meticulously source grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Champagne region and that same obsessive attention is applied through the winemaking process, from grape selection to blending and aging in their history-filled cellars. The Princes Brut is an equal blend of three grape varieties (1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Meunier) which is unusual. Key principles in their winemaking approach are low dosage, the use of only first-press juice, and longer aging times resulting in a wonderful blend that is fresh yet silky.

As with many things, the world is looking to the lessons of the past to preserve the future and De Venoge can draw on years of experience to do this. In recent years, the house has embraced sustainable practices, recognising the importance of preserving the environment for future generations. The wines of the house are today exported in more than 40 countries, through specialty stores, hotels and the best restaurants. I am pleased to announce that it is also now available in select Pick ‘n Pay stores.

Every sip of De Venoge Champagne is not just a celebration of the present but a nod to their rich history… Cheers!

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