Penet-Chardonnet has been family-owned for 5 generations. We are an independent, traditional estate exclusively producing Champagne in the ultra premium, 100% Grand Cru range.
The fully-owned six hectare vineyard stretches along the towns of Verzy and Verzenay, a Grand Cru area in the “Montagne de Reims” celebrated for its premium quality pinot noir grapes. Only the best vines are classified Grand Cru, an honor granted to less than 13% of the vineyards in the Champagne region.
Chardonnet’s ancestors were already growing vines in Verzenay in the 17th Century, and the Penet family bought their first vines in Verzy during the French Revolution.
In the early 1930’s an integrated Champagne business was set up, followed by the acquisition in 1951 of Mumm’s 19th century cellars in Verzy by Gilbert and Désiré Penet.
In the 1940’s, Gilbert’s son Emile bought a magnificent 19th century manor and winery where he made and sold exclusive handcrafted Champagne for over 50 years.
As mayor of Verzy for 18 years, Emile and his wife Marguerite also hosted many high society events, some of which with Charles de Gaulle’s close collaborators. Emile extended the estate by buying more land, and was also the first person in town to use a tractor in the late 1950’s.
In 1967 the marriage of Emile’s son, Christian to Marie-Louise Chardonnet brought together the Penet and Chardonnet vines under the same house. In the 1980’s, Christian, willing to expand the estate even more, built a state-of-the-art winery with his own hands, enabling the family to magnify the outstanding quality of the wines and better control the process from the vine to the bottle, while benefiting from more modern equipment and improved working conditions.
The Penet Chardonnet winery quickly became the largest in town, and is still nowadays the main production site of the estate.
Today, Alexandre Penet represents the 5th generation to run the estate.
From a young age, Alexandre assisted first his grandfather Emile and then his father Christian in the ancient art of champagne making, developing from childhood a passion for the family heritage. After having worked in different industries during the early part of his professional career, he is now able to bring together the efficient processes learnt in his strategic management experiences with his life-long family wine expertise, substantially enriching a business where tradition and modernity go hand in hand. Non-vintage Champagnes require experienced knowledge to blend the right grapes at the right time from the year’s harvest and reserve wines. Penet-Chardonnet has enhanced this art of blending for centuries, producing a wine with its own distinctive style, and full bodied character.