Once upon a time there was a Benedictine monk named Dom Pérignon (1638–1715).
Dom Pérignon was also a cellar master at the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers. Back in 1670, he started to blend grapes in order to improve the quality of wines and deal with a number of their imperfections. Then he placed corks, which were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling. In addition to that used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles as many of them would explode. The development of sparkling wines as the main style of production in Champagne occurred progressively in the 19th century, over one century after Dom Pérignon’s death.
The first ever vintage of Dom Pérignon was made in 1921, and was only released for sale in 1936. The first 300 bottles of the Dom Pérignon 1921 were the Simon Bros & Co, a company that imported Moët in the United Kingdom. That was enough! The wine got immediate attention in the marketplace and immediately the market of the United States placed their orderes. One of the first customers was James Buchanan Duke, the billionaire who had founded the American Tobacco Company; he ordered 100 bottles for himself.
From that order, 17 bottles were sold at an auction at Christie’s in New York City in June 2004 where Doris Duke, the billionaire’s daughter, had kept them in her cellar.
Until the 1943 vintage, Dom Pérignon was produced from regular vintage Moët & Chandon Champagne that was transferred to the special 18th Century-style bottles after extended cellaring. It was thus effectively an oenothèquerelease of Moët & Chandon Vintage Champagne in a different bottle.
But from the 1947 vintage, Dom Pérignon has been produced separately from the start. The number of bottles produced in each vintage is not precisely defined. As a result, the final composition changes every vintage.
Dom Perignon Rose 1959 Vintage Reaches a Record Price of 84,700 Dollars at a Historic Rare Champagne Auction in New York
According to Richard Geoffroy’s Manifesto : “Dom Pérignon expresses its first plenitudes after seven years in the cellar.”
As of 2010, the current release of Dom Pérignon is from the 2002 vintage and the current release of Dom Pérignon Rosé is from the 2000 vintage.
The current 2010 winemaker is Richard Geoffroy, who has been Chef de Cave for Dom Pérignon since 1998.