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In 1871, Mercier decided to build an authentic underground town and, never a man to do anything by half, instructed his architect to count in kilometres, not metres.

Six years later, the champagne production facility boasted 47 tunnels, covering 18 kilometres, a direct rail connection to the Paris-Strasbourg rail network and later became a popular public attraction when Mercier began running guided tours for the public - something that continues to this day. In the spirit of Mercier, a ‘Champagne Rally’ was even held in the cellars in the 1950s to launch Renault's 4CV and not a single bottle was smashed.


From cellars to cinema, Mercier joined up with the Lumière brothers, the legendary filmmakers, to make the very first documentary charting the two-year champagne process - precisely 3,723,821 visitors queued to see the end result - but even that was eclipsed by the ‘Cathedral of Champagne’, arguably one of Mercier's greatest publicity stunts. It was the world’s biggest wine barrel, weighing in at 20-tonnes, and constructed over 15 years from 150 one-hundred year-old Hungarian oak trees, but Eugène Mercier didn't stop there.


The ‘Cathedral of Champagne’ was completed in time for the 1889 World Exhibition and this provided Mercier with the chance to attempt his most breathtaking piece of showmanship: transporting the cask almost 90-miles from Épernay to Paris. It took eight days and nights, 24 oxen and 18 horses to transport the 200,000 bottle capacity wine cask. Two bridges collapsed under its weight, several others required major repairs and five houses were bought and demolished, but the publicity was priceless, even though the cask was eventually overshadowed by the main attraction, the Eiffel Tower.



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The World Exhibitions seemed to be Eugène Mercier's playground, so naturally he was back in the public eye at the 1900 exhibition with organised trips above Paris in a Mercier-branded hydrogen balloon - the first advertising medium of its kind. After the fair, a ceremonial flight from Paris to Épernay was organised, but, just as they were nearing home, the weather changed and an uncontrollable jounrey began. They finally landed in a small village close to the Belgian border and when the border police inspected the balloon and found six bottles of champagne the pilot was fined for illegally importing alcohol.


Following the event, Eugène Mercier cheerfully said, "This is the cheapest advertising I’ve ever done. The press reports on this adventure will end up costing me less than an eighth of a cent a line!" Mercier, who sadly died four years later, understood that marketing a product is at least as important as the quality of the product. Judging from many modern champagne houses’ conservative and over-confident approach to the market and its customers it seems that many could still learn from the man with a flair for extraordinary publicity stunts.

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Inside information


Can you tell us a little about the immediate reactions of visitors when they first see the Mercier cellars?« Visitors are surprised by the grandeur and the unique decor of our cellars. They’re not expecting to discover such a magnificent heritage and they realize how important our brand has been throughout the years. At the same time, they appreciate the amazing contrast between our traditional heritage and the originality of touring the cellars in a little train. »


Can you describe the atmosphere of the cellars and tell us if it impacts your everyday work?« The atmosphere of the cellars is rich with our century-old history and they show a love of grandeur that was uniquely Eugène Mercier’s. When you are in the cellars you want to perpetuate the legend of Mercier Champagne and that’s what I focus on every day, continuing the “fresh, fruity, intense, spontaneous” Mercier style. »  


How are these cellars different from the cellars of France’s other major houses?« The Mercier cellars were the first to be constructed according to a rational plan based on an architectural drawing and designed to be open to the public. The high, arched ceilings, the sculpted decor and the theatricality create such atmosphere in these cellars that are, above all and to this day, the place where our wines mature, an organized, functional production space just as it was in the beginning for Eugène Mercier. »

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6 different wines with 19 vintages

Winemaking since 1858

  • Christophe Bonnefond, Chef de Cave.

    "There is no better way to enjoy a bottle of Mercier Rosé than at a sunny terrace at the end of the day. That’s when the champagne reveals all of its harmonious qualities—a glimmering salmon pink color, a vibrant aroma of berries and a palate as mellow as it is refreshing. A bouquet of flavors that I like to pair with an assortment of sushi for an original touch."


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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Many prestige champagnes debuted in 1959 vintage, for example, Dom Ruinart and Pol Roger Blanc de Chardonnay. A large harvest of champagnes, that often ended up above 13 percent alcohol because of the extremely hot summer. The wines have proven to be very sustainable, despite the low acid. Power and concentration are great regardless if the wines are dominated by Chardonnay or pinot noir. A wonderful champagne year in its style!

5m 13d ago

 Luciano Cesare, Wine Dealer (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Dom Ruinart 1982 / Good looking normal size bottle, in an excellent condition with 2 cm level ullage below the cork. Colour is straw, and looking bright, healthy and medium. On the nose it is intense, fresh, seductive and round. The taste is fresh, rich, fruity, medium-bodied, with balanced, complex, concentrated structure and youthful. The finish is medium long, round, gentle and vibrant. This wine is sophisticated and fine. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 15min before tasting. Good value for money.

8m 9d ago

 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  77 wines 

“The best Champagnes from 2002 vintage: As in Bourgogne, this is a beautiful and generous vintage with a bright future in store. It
is the rst time that I start to feel a tad old in the game. Because I have tried the vintage before in my life! Yes, the 2002 is so strikingly similar to the 1982 that I think I can predict the vintage’s whole life curve. I believe in a very linear curve without ups and downs. The wine will eventually become more buttery and fatter, with a relatively high acidity, and it will do its job in silence. The wines will reach their top at twenty to thirty years of age. Most promising
so far are many growers such as Egly-Ouriet, Michel Arnould, Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, Jacques Selosse, and Diebolt-Vallois. Amour the Deutz, Piper-Heidsieck, Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs, and Louis Roederer Cristal are pure nectar, but the most intellec- tually challenging are Jacquesson’s vineyard wines Champ Cain and Vauzelle de Terme.”

1y 4m ago

 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  8 wines 

“It was another blind tasting where one champagne really breaks the aplodes – Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve. Wow, what a champagne – broad, complex, intense, appealing flavours – true mediation champagne!! Dom Pérignon 2006 was astonishingly good. So fresh, vivid, and energetic after the serious and heavy Dom Pérignon 2005. This DP 2006 has something that 2002 had but it is somewhat more appealing at this young stage compared to 2002. Otherwise, Mercier 1959 did appeal with its lovely nutty, amontillado-like taste. Otherwise Bollinger was performing lesser than expected while Veuve Clicquot delivered what was expected. Nicolas Feuillatte BdB 2006 did leave us cold – too simple for champagne. Beaumont des Crayères instead were solid, nothing fancy but solid and have to say Meunier was really nice. ”

1y 9m ago

 Thomas Alsgaard, Pro (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  31 wines 

“Two Mouton-Rothschild 1945 at the same evening:)”

2y 4m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  10 wines 

“Cristal 1977 and few other rarities.

The 1977 champagnes are rare to find and the year does not enjoy a great reputation. To us, Cristal is the most consistent champagne in both style and quality. Therefore it is no surprise that they managed to produce yet another perfect Cristal in 1977.
The bottle was in perfect condition and so was the content. A delightful experience to all the lucky tasters present. Deep golden colour with delicate effervescence in the glass. Toasty and stylish pure nose of dried fruits, marshmallow and burned sugar. Fresh and tightly-knitted wine on the palate with a linear, lean and feminine style. The mousse is gentle, velvety yet lively. A compact wine where all the elements have found their correct place. It is a privilege to enjoy this peaking Cristal now. No rush however.

2y 8m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mercier . In a tasting of  60 wines 

““The first day of the 100-tasting of 1940's is behind - best wines so far are Cheval 1947, Lafleur 1947, Mouton 1945, Evangile 1947 and Niepoort vintage port 1947. Tomorrow we will taste another 60 wines:)””

2y 11m ago

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