Member Highlight: Hatt et Soner
29 October 2018
SCC Member Hatt et Söner is the only Champagne house in the world that is partly Swedish-owned. The company is currently working to extend their facilities
in Champagne, France, to enable the growth of their unique concept of “Personal Vintage”, where members, participate in the whole journey from harvest to maturity.
Hatt et Söner is a relatively young company, but the know-how and experience span five generations back to the mid nineteenth century. The first plans for Hatt et Söner came about in 2006 when Kristofer Ruscon discovered that one of his grandfather’s oldest friends, François Vallois, was going to sell his vineyard holdings and retire due to his daughters not wanting to continue with the family business of growing grapes and producing champagne. Kristofer decided that the history and heritage should not be lost and made plans to take the business forward for the generations to come. This required substantial investment, which came from three Swedish families who shared Kristofer’s vision. Twelve years later, Hatt et Söner is still the only Swedish-French owned Champagne house in the world.
In 2012, Hatt et Söner became one of approximately 300 Champagne houses in the Champagne region. The region is located 150 kilometers east of Paris and is made up of 279,000 small vineyard parcels owned by 40,000 families. Of these landowners, only around 16,000 cultivate the vineyards and produce grapes. However, only around 3,500 growers produce champagne.
Tradition is very important in the Champagne region. Even though Hatt et Söner firmly believes in tradition the company also believes that innovation is key. This in combination with a change of heart from Céline, one of François’ daughters who decided to train to be a future winemaker, the unique concept Personal Vintage was born. The concept enables people to become “members” and participate in the entire process from harvest to maturity. The concept became a success and it quickly became apparent that a new cellar and production facility would be required. The construction work commenced in January 2017 with the first stage of this dedicated building being completed in time to receive the harvest in September 2017. The work continued with the completion of the ground floor, which was completed in May this year ready for the members’ annual spring visit. The last phase of the new facilities will see the completion early in 2019, which will be a members’ house with views over the surrounding vineyards of la Côte des Blancs above Hatt et Söner’s home village Bergèresles- Vertus.
The completion of the new members’ house and cellar takes Hatt et Söner another step forward on their path, and plans are also in hand for an education centre with a luxury hotel to welcome visitors to the region. Throughout the journey, Hatt et Söner will continue to follow their mission, to change the
world of champagne.