Piper-Heidsieck is one of the most famous houses in Champagne. It is known for its structured, fruit-driven house style made predominantly from Pinot Noir, with smaller portions of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
The company has its origins in the cloth- and wine-trading company Heidsieck and Co. which was founded in 1785 by Florens-Louis Heidsieck. The brand itself came about in 1838 after the marriage of Madame Heidsieck and Henri-Guillaume Piper, but went into a period of decline for the next hundred years. It was resurrected in the mid-20th Century, and has gone on to become one of the world's most recognizable Champagnes.
The winery is home to temperature-controlled cellars and a host of reserve wines which are used to keep the house style consistent from year to year. The grapes are vinified by grape variety and by individual plot to allow for more control in the blending process.
Grapes for the Piper-Heidsieck Brut, Demi Sec Sublime and Rosé Sauvage come from around a hundred cru vineyards in Champagne. The Piper-Heidsieck Vintage Brut is produced from between 15-20 grand and premier cru plots, and is usually a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, without any Pinot Meunier.
Piper-Heidsieck's top wine is the Rare Millésime, made from a Chardonnay – Pinot Noir blend with the former dominating. The wine is full-bodied and well-structured, and is aged for seven years in the cellars before release. Rare is only made in the very best years – fewer than 10 vintages have been released in the past 30 years.