Armand de Brignac

20th August 2014

Armand de Brignac

The History

The art of Champagne has a rich history dating back to medieval times.

Prior to the 17th century, however, France’s Champagne region produced only still wines – not the sparkling wine famous worldwide today. The Catholic Church owned many of Champagne’s vineyards and monks produced their own wines for use in the sacrament of Eucharist. France’s kings were anointed here in the Montagne de Reims terroir of Champagne, and the region’s still wine was served at coronation festivities.

In the 17th century, employing new fermentation methods, Champagne’s winemakers began to produce sparkling wine for the first time. The popularity of this new type of wine led to a global boom in sparkling wine production – but even today, only sparkling wines produced, bottled, and aged in France’s Champagne region can legally lay claim to the term “Champagne.”

Brut Champagne, created to meet demand for drier Champagnes, debuted in the latter half of the 19th century. Classic Brut Champagnes, including Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, are made from a blend of grapes from different vintage years to achieve the particular character that reflects the unique nature of the house. The quality of its Brut multi-vintage is often the benchmark by which each chateau is measured – this is the wine closest in style to that produced by Champagne’s original pioneers.

The bold character of Armand de Brignac is born of the same passion and imagination that guided Champagne’s early innovators. Like them, Armand de Brignac cannot be defined by convention.



Armand de Brignac cuvées derive their light, racy effervescence from the quality of our Chardonnay grapes, while Pinot Noir lends strength, boldness, and depth of palate. Finally, Pinot Meunier adds roundness, nuance, and fruitiness to the cuvées of our range.

For Armand de Brignac, these grapes are selected from only the finest vineyards in La Marne, including Grand Cru – rated villages like Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Choilly, and Premier Cru towns including Ludes, Rilly-la-Montagne, Villers Allerand, Taissy, Villers Marmery, and Mareuil-sur-Ay.

As part of our finishing process, the bottles are corked and sealed only as quickly as our artisans can operate the bottling press.

The ornate, delicate Armand de Brignac bottles must be handled with care by hand due to the bottle’s special shape and plating. After the cork and metal muselet are added, a black capsule stamped with the Armand de Brignac crest is secured. During the last stage of production, four pewter labels are applied to the bottle and polished by hand, making every bottle a unique and distinctive work of art. When two bottles are placed side by side, subtle differences can be seen in the fine details of the pewter and in the hue and texture of the beaten metal. One thing holds true for every bottle of Armand de Brignac – the buttery-soft, creamy, and complex Champagne within.

Vineyard and House

Vineyard and House

The House

The Cattier family, producers of Armand de Brignac, have a rich and storied history as an elite Champagne house.
In the tiny Champagne village of Chigny les Roses, the Cattiers have owned and cultivated family vineyards since 1763. Today, the house remains independently-owned and run by the family with a staff of fewer than 20 people. Patriarch Jean-Jacques Cattier oversees the Chateau’s wine production; with strictly limited annual yields, M. Cattier and his staff can ensure that the family’s artisanal winemaking traditions are kept alive in each bottle.

The Cattier cellars are among the oldest and deepest in Champagne, with three styles of architecture represented in the caverns: Gothic, Renaissance, and Roman; Armand de Brignac is aged in a special, gated section of the deepest part of these cellars, 119 steps underground.

Robert Parker’s Guide of French Wines rates Cattier as “excellent – among the best producers of Champagne.” Centuries spent perfecting the art of Champagne are put to use in each Armand de Brignac cuvée.

The Winemakers

Armand de Brignac is handcrafted under the strict supervision of our father and son winemakers Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier.

The elder M. Cattier, patriach of our house and its resident connoisseur, is truly representative of Armand de Brignac’s innovative marriage of old-world technique with modern innovation. Born and raised in Chigny-les-Roses, the small village where his family has owned vineyards since the 1700’s, M. Cattier was made an oenologist at the age of 25 –after he had already earned a Master’s degree in Physics. After returning from an adventurous scientific mission to the Antarctic Kerguelen Islands, M. Cattier returned to Chigny-les-Roses and assumed his current role at our house and vineyards, a position he has held for the past 35 years. Now joined by his son (and fellow oenologist) Alexandre, M. Cattier brings his family’s unmatched winemaking expertise, adventurous spirit, and true passion for Champagne to Armand de Brignac, a labor of love for the Cattiers and the jewel of the annual harvest.

Written by Sophie Lawrence

Glass of Bubbly

Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.