MOËT Imperial Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary at The Chateau de Saran

Paris, May 22, 2019.  In a sparkling fete last night, Moët & Chandon unveiled its majestically-restored Château de Saran, an architectural jewel in the lush landscape of Champagne, proudly inaugurated in time to host a spectacular celebration marking the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, the signature champagne of the Maison, around a unique culinary experience perfected by two three-Michelin-starred chefs. 

Gracing the glittering evening with their presence were some of the brightest stars of Hollywood, namely Natalie Portman and Uma Thurman, style icon Kate Moss, the British actor Douglas Booth and Derek Blasberg. The House hosted celebrities, brand ambassadors and friends of the Maison who had travelled to Champagne for the special night to toast the lovingly-restored Château de Saran on its remarkable debut, and to mark the memorable 150th-year milestone in the journey of Moët Impérial. 

Roger Federer, Moët & Chandon’s ambassador since 2012 and a true tennis legend with an unparalleled record of career successes, was also present to pay a personal tribute to the House’s signature champagne and to share the limelight, as two global icons of elegance and success, with Moët Impérial.   “I am thrilled to be here in Champagne to toast Moët Impérial, a symbol of global success, at this splendid family château, a grand new symbol for Moët & Chandon whose ‘family’ I am honored to be a part of,” says Roger Federer. 

Towering over sweeping views of the vineyards of Moët & Chandon, the Château de Saran has been a property of the House since 1801.  Once a hunting lodge turned into a family residence, the Château had since the 1960s welcomed guests to savor the hospitality of the Maison.  Refitted and reborn today as a superb “Château de Famille,” the Château de Saran is destined once more to become the site of festive celebrations, where honored guests of the House will come to enjoy unique experiences and bask in the legendary savoir-fête of Moët & Chandon.

“We are thrilled to welcome our honored guests to the beautifully restored Château de Saran to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial in grand style, and to mark a pivotal moment in our House’s history,” says Stéphane Baschiera, President and CEO of Moët & Chandon. 

To honor the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, born in 1869, Moët & Chandon arranged for its most emblematic champagne to be served throughout the evening from new limited-edition anniversary bottles filled with the House’s signature brut that reflects a distinctive style of champagne defined by its bright fruitiness, its seductive palate and its elegant maturity, all distinguishing characteristics of Moët & Chandon’s blends. 

Following an elegant cocktail party at the Château, a festive seated dinner was served in a striking mirrored structure especially designed to reflect the spectacular beauty of the House’s vineyards.  The meal, prepared like a concerto “with four hands” combined the unique culinary talents of Yannick Alléno, the three Michelin-starred French chef and brand ambassador for the House since 2014, with the artistry of Dominique Crenn, co-owner and chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.  Their unprecedented collaboration made for a delectably-curated culinary experience paired with the flowing bubbles of Moët Impérial. 

The evening was highlighted, after dinner, by a live musical performance courtesy of British singer-songwriter, Freya Ridings, Britain’s biggest breakthrough artist thanks to her 2018 platinum-selling hit “Lost Without You.”  Her smooth, melodic sounds enhanced the harmony of the celebrations that culminated with a mesmerizing display of colorful fireworks to illuminate the skies above the Château de Saran and the vineyards in the foothills, echoing the bright sparkles of Moët Impérial. 

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A splendid new “Château de Famille” for Moët & Chandon 

For two centuries, the Château de Saran has reigned over the sprawling vineyards of Moët & Chandon.  Perched on the Côte de Blancs overlooking the vineyards of Chouilly and facing the iconic Loge Montaigu, all properties of the House, the Château has long borne witness to the natural spectacle of verdant vineyards coming to life at harvest time to produce, thanks to its long-standing winemaking savoir-faire, the champagnes of Moët & Chandon since 1743.

On lands originally acquired in 1801, Jean-Remy Moët, grandson of the House’s founder, built a hunting lodge fringed by lush forests.  The structure was expanded in 1846 by Jean-Remy’s son, Victor Moët, into a country manor.  In the 1920s, the Château de Saran became a principal residence of the Moët family until the 1960s when the property opened its welcoming arms to an array of cosmopolitan guests invited to enjoy the hospitality of Moët & Chandon. 

Today, the historic Château de Saran is well-poised to embrace the 21st century, thanks to its majestic restoration by the Parisian architectural studio, Atelier Cos, and the interior decorator, Yves de Marseille, who together have transformed this magnificent “Château de Famille” into a venue faithful to its heritage, animated by the spirit of the Moët & Chandon, and primed to host honored guests in the style and grandeur that the House is known for.  That labor of love has brought back an authentic coziness tinged with glamour to the convivial ground-floor reception areas and to the eleven private suites on the upper floors. 

As in a private home, each suite designed in its own unique style bears an evocative name that highlights the heritage of Moët & Chandon and its prestigious rise across the globe.  Thus, each offers a bespoke and immersive journey through a dazzling epoch, a conquered territory or the spirit of a brilliant personality, each having marked the memoire of the Maison.  The historic “Impériale Suite” is an ode to Napoleon I, staged in homage to the patronage of France’s imperial family that gave its title to Moët Impérial, born on the centennial of Napoleon I’s birth.  The “Chinese Suite” pays tribute to the vast empire that first welcomed Moët & Chandon in 1843.  The “Roaring Twenties Suite” echoes the vibrancy of a jazzy Paris, an age of festive celebration, familiar terrain of Moët & Chandon. 

The Vendangeoir, built in 1854 as a winemaking center, is now connected to the Château with an underground passageway or through a traversing pergola in a flowering garden.  Its new “factory-style” design, more contemporary, provides an ideal setting for festive celebrations in the double dining halls overlooking the vineyards through monumental bay windows. 

The landscape designer, Peter Wirtz, has redrawn the surrounding park à l’anglaise, where a poetically lavish nature is contrasted with the grand classicism of the Château.  Closer to the main structure, orderly gardens à la française echo the force of the Château’s architecture while creating a floral liaison with the Vendangeoir.

 

Moët Impérial, a global icon of celebration and savoir-fête 

Born as Brut Impérial in 1869, Moët Impérial was the name given to the House’s non-vintage brut champagne in homage to Moët & Chandon’s long-standing relationship with France’s imperial family.  The first shipment of Moët Impérial was timed to coincide with the centennial of Napoleon Bonaparte’s birth, a tribute to the faithful patronage of France’s Emperor and his entourage that brought a glorious distinction to the House.  

Moët Impérial embarked on an epic journey, through challenge and opportunity, to become a global icon of celebration, conquering new worlds and contributing to create unforgettable moments filled with glamour and style. 

A star in its own right, Moët Impérial has shined on the cinematic stage, been celebrated for its savoir-fête, and frequently captured by the lens of paparazzi as it has been joyfully toasted by the glitterati.  In Cannes, a natural playground for Moët & Chandon in the 1960s, film legends Kim Novak and Cary Grant were photographed toasting with a bottle of Moët Impérial at a star-studded dinner on the French Riviera.  At Studio 54, symbol of the dazzling New York nightlife of the 1970s, the father of Pop Art, Andy Warhol was photographed sharing a bottle of Moët Impérial in famous company, amongst reveling movie stars and fashion models. 

Moët Impérial rose onto the highest stage of the sporting world as winners initiated a tradition of spraying champagne from the winner’s podium, or savored the taste of victory, as did Jackie Stewart, the racing great who raised a bottle of Moët Impérial to his lips to celebrate his history-making victory in 1971 at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. 

To pay tribute to 150 years of celebration and mark a truly momentous anniversary, Moët & Chandon has unveiled a limited-edition bottle inscribed with a redesigned logo that erects the “I” of “Impérial” into a new symbol for Moët Impérial.  A crowning tribute to the remarkable 150-year history of this outstanding champagne, “I” is a badge of honor on this historic milestone that “must be” celebrated in the grand style for which the House is known. 

Inside, Moët Impérial’s anniversary bottle is filled with the House’s signature brut that reflects a distinctive style of champagne defined by its bright fruitiness, its seductive palate and its elegant maturity, all distinguishing characteristics of Moët & Chandon’s blends.

 

A culinary experience for a global icon 

The anniversary meal to celebrate Moët Impérial on the seamlessly choreographed opening night of the Château de Saran was carefully planned to the finest detail to reflect the generosity and savoir-fête of Moët & Chandon.  For this momentous occasion, the House had called on the culinary talents of two storied chefs, working in tandem, to fashion an unforgettable culinary experience for the special guests of Moët & Chandon. 

 Celebrated since 2007 as a three Michelin-starred French chef, Yannick Alléno, who is a Moët & Chandon brand ambassador since 2014, regularly combines his audaciously experimental modern cuisine with the House’s exceptional wine savoir-faire at the Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris.  Last evening, Yannick Alléno surpassed his own culinary repertoire with a delectably creative four-course meal highlighted by steamed morels with smoked scamorza cheese powdered with Iranian black lemon and orange. 

To orchestrate an unprecedented culinary duet, Moët & Chandon had invited Dominique Crenn, co-owner and chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, to combine her own special artistry with that of Yannick Alléno and create a distinctively novel gastronomic experience.  Her exceptional contribution to the evening’s culinary delights hit a high note with a langoustine tartare appetizer with fresh seaweed followed by black cod served with fresh herbs and a celery mousseline.  Ms. Crenn, whose modern vision of fine French cuisine marries her own notable French heritage, growing up in the Brittany region of France, with an imaginative gastronomic flair, was awarded the unique distinction of becoming in 2018 the first female chef in the U.S. to receive three Michelin stars. 

Throughout the glamorously festive evening, the golden bubbles of Moët Impérial flowed, beautifully paired with a gourmet meal that elevated gastronomic scales to new heights, and set a new standard for the House’s own grand gestures of generosity and savoir-fête.

 

ABOUT MOËT & CHANDON 

Founded in 1743, Moët & Chandon contributed to introduce champagne to the world by offering a range of unique wines for every occasion.  From the iconic Moët Impérial to the Grand Vintage Collection, from the extroverted Moët Rosé Impérial to the innovative Moët Ice Impérial, each champagne dazzles and delights with bright fruitiness, a seductive palate and an elegant maturity. 

Moët & Chandon celebrates the thrill of living.  With a bottle of its champagne opened every second around the globe, Moët & Chandon knows that every second is an experience, and every experience is a #Moetmoment to live now. 

Please drink responsibly.