Prestige and elegance.
It defines luxury markets and develops simple bottles of fermented grape juice into a leading asset class.
The history of Dom Pérignon dates back to the late 17th century when the monk Pierre Pérignon became the cellar master at the Abbey of Hautvillers. Pérignon is credited with being one of the pioneers of champagne production and was instrumental in developing many of the techniques that are still used today.
Pérignon's primary contribution to the development of champagne was his work in improving the quality of the wine. In the 17th century, wine quality varied significantly and while the drink was enjoyed in part due to its safety compared to water, it was not considered the luxury item it is today. To separate his champagne with the bubbly produced by other estates, Pérignon developed a system of blending different grape varieties to create a more balanced and complex flavor profile. He also introduced the use of cork stoppers to seal the bottles, which allowed the wine to develop bubbles naturally during the secondary fermentation process. While Pérignon is not necessarily credited with the invention of the cork, his wines are recognized as the first to use the newly curated process as a method of quality control.
While the champagne market continued to expand throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Dom Pérignon brand was officially established in the early 20th century, when Moët & Chandon decided to create a high-end champagne brand that would be sold exclusively to the luxury market. The first vintage of Dom Pérignon was released in 1921 and was an instant success as bottles shipped around the world and sales cleared $20 million within the first year. Since then, the brand has become synonymous with luxury and refinement, and its popularity has continued to grow over the years. Today, Dom Pérignon is still a flagship brand of the champagne house Moët & Chandon, which is now owned by the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.
The Market of Dom Pérignon
Dom Pérignon is one of the most prestigious champagne brands in the world and is highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs alike. The brand produces only vintage champagne, which means that the grapes used in each bottle come from a single year's harvest.
In an era of commercialization, even within the fine wine industry, the grapes are carefully hand-picked and sorted before being pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The champagne is then aged in the bottle for at least seven years before being released to the market.
Dom Pérignon is available in several different cuvées, each with its own unique flavor profile. The most popular cuvées include Dom Pérignon Vintage, Dom Pérignon Rosé, and Dom Pérignon P2. Each cuvée is produced in limited quantities, and the vintage champagne is only released in years when the harvest is of exceptional quality.
To close 2022, two vintages of Dom Pérignon were among the top 10 most traded wines by value on Liv-Ex, with the 2012 and 2008 productions represented. Both of those wines found their way into the top 10 list for wines traded by value as the region of Champagne delivered yet another double-digit return on the year.
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Photo: Renato Marques on Unsplash