Canard-Duchêne 150th Anniversary
By Open Air Theatre
This week Canard-Duchêne, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s champagne sponsor, celebrate their 150th anniversary. It’s a moment to remember a young couple, barrel maker Victor Canard and a local grower’s daughter, Léonie Duchêne, from the hillside village of Ludes outside Reims, in the Northern-most area of the Champagne region. Following a whirlwind romance, the couple were married in 1860 and, in 1868, they created the Champagne house, Canard-Duchêne.
Of the three main grape varieties permitted in the Champagne appellation (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay), Canard-Duchêne’s unique identity stems from the character and elegance of Pinot Noir.
Canard-Duchêne became popular with Czar Nicholas II and the Imperial Court of Russia, and they were granted the right to adopt its coat of arms; the crowned double-headed eagle has appeared on every Canard-Duchêne label since the end of the 19th Century. In 1978, ownership passed to Veuve Clicquot, who subsequently became part of the luxury brand group, LVMH (which also includes Dior, Dom Perrignon, Givenchy, Moët and Chandon and Louis Vuitton).
In 2003, Alain Thiénot’s independent Champagne group, Thiénot, purchased Canard-Duchêne, and it remains one of the few wineries in Champagne to be family-run.
The original chateau was severely damaged in the two world wars and subsequently demolished, but under Alain Thiénot’s watch, the original limestone cellars – dug out by hand in the 19th Century – have been restored. Now back in use, the cellars extend over six kilometers and four levels, between 12 and 38 meters deep.
Conceived from a romance some 150 years ago, and exuding a sense of joy (and an element of cheekiness), it is fitting that Canard-Duchêne’s week of celebration coincides with the opening of our latest production, Shakespeare’s most sparkling of romantic comedies, As You Like It.
As You Like It | 6 – 28 July | Book Tickets
Pre-order your bottle of Canard-Duchêne Champagne ahead of your visit:
Curvée Léonie ABV 12% £40.00 (a saving of £7.50)
Charles VII Rose ABV 12% £72.50 (a saving of £25)
Or purchase our Canard-Duchene Luxury Champagne Hamper £89.95
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