The international success of Koch Champagne & Sons
Therefore, from 1 January
1866, Gustave and Eugene under the name “KOCH & sons” continued alone
operation of the Koch business, 7 rue de Cramant, at the Koch castle of Avize,
promoting new brands such as “La Goutte d'Or” and “Koch & Co.” .
With Gustave, the mark Koch received a strong impulse and reputation spread in many countries: Denmark, Sweden, USA, Germany, Austria, Russia and England where Koch Champagne was exported.
Bright feasts were given on the Thames to the glory of Champagne Koch, and awards and medals won (dietary exposure in 1873).
The champagne Koch was drunk by the brother of the great Tsar Duke Serge in the Moscow exhibition of 1891.
The company continued to grow through purchases of vines: 2 hectares When Félicie Koch was alive until 1893, then 2 hectares by the brothers Koch, which brought assets to 11 hectares.
Gustave Koch (1836 - 1903)
Après ses études à l'école Polytechnique
Directeur de la Maison Koch
In 1879 Gustave and Eugene
established new statutes for the company Koch & Sons" whose
headquarters was 7 rue de Cramant in Avize, at the Koch castle, with the help of
their brother-in-law notary to Oiry Gustave Loche.
From that time, only Eugene continued to live in the Koch castle with his family, Gustave settled on its side; 35 rue des Carmes.
Despite the disagreement between Eugene and his sister-in-law Marie La Marle, the 2 brothers continued to actively cooperate, Eugene passing much of his time in London in the largest branch where the best customers receive the added bonus of a silver dagger.
In Germany, the Munich agent Franz Kessler was also very active, while the French representative Leon Niox was almost part of the family.
Advertising from a directory 1890
When Eugene died prematurely in 1890, laudatory articles were published such in No. 500 of “La France Industrielle” . On June 20, 1889, the Koch&Sons company had been extended for ten years by a private act.
The case was then at its zenith, and Pauline, the widow of Eugene trusted Gustave to continue to pursue the matter until the majority of its sons Charles and Henri.
On November 26, 1890, the contract was confirmed by the widow of Eugene. That put the deadline at 1899, and until then Gustave led alone the society with a clear success.
Vault of Eugène Koch (1838-1890) in Avenay
The fall of the Company
Pauline widow of Eugene, then
who lost her two sons, does not renewed in 1900 , saying the revenue was no
longer enough, relying on a clause that had been imposed in the contract of
association by his father and Henri Paris, lawyer.
In 1899 were therefore sold at Pommery, the home of 9 rue de Cramant, and a lot of vineyards. The Koch castle of Avize was temporarily maintained in the community between Gustave and the heirs of Eugene, the rest of the vines was shared.
Production fell, despite the efforts of Gustave to launch new brands as “Bonna Tea Brothers” or “special cuvee of the House Koch” in 1900, or “Gustave Koch & Co.” in 1901.He died in 1903 of diabetes at 68 years.
In 1902, Any Koch (Suzanne Antoinette Armande Berthe), the only descendant of Eugene married, Mary Jean Charles De Challemaison (of the old French nobility related to the Maison de France).
In 1904, the Avize Koch castle fully returned to the heirs of Eugene Koch: his wife Pauline Paris (Koch wife) and her daughter Any Koch (De Challemaison wife)
In 1905, the real estate of Gustave returned to his
son Philip who immediately sold a part to Pommery.
Jean Charles De Marie Challemaison continued a few years operation of Avize Koch castle, which was eventually sold in 1911 to RENNESSON et COLIN.
But G. Rennesson had not the time to use the Castle of Avize. He went to war in 1914, believing him dead, his parents sold the Castle before he returns. .
After the first war, the Koch castle owned to Champagne Oudinot but maintenance was too expensive.
In 1946 it was bought by a Belgian notary called Renkin who exploited the mark “POLVARENE”. Not very recommendable, and spending a tireless advocate for Huge parties he gave with the elders of the area, he was backed to the sale. The Champagne Charbot took in the meantime some of the buildings. In the early 1960's, the dilapidated Koch castle was abandoned, the roof letting inclement weather.
Koch Champagne in the 20th
Jean Philippe Eugene Koch called Philippe, born on August 3, 1874, the only son of Gustave exploit the brand "Koch" in Avize , in his house ,35 rue des Carmes.
Marie La Marle had waived its rights to the estate of Gustave, with a pension of 3000 francs that guaranteed her son and potential heirs, Philippe keeping the heritage of his father.
The house of 35 rue des Carmes including a champagne cellar , Philippe Koch continued to use the trademark « KOCH » and « Chante clair » until 1912.
The Phylloxera had reached the Champagne and french
plants do not resisted, reducing the production of 2 / 3. Then, the Workers of
the vine angry, openend
barrels of champagne in the streets of Champagne villages.
The great economic crisis of 1910 was fatal to honest Champagne producers whose production remained unsold, while the sparkling original uncertified renamed in Champagne sold at low prices, enriched others.
In 1911, the vines were sold for the price of wire and the price of water for irrigation was prohibitive. The heads of cellars, themselves, participated in the fall of holdings by embezzling large quantities of bottles, as the governor (Arsacq) of the Avize Castle at the time of Challemaison.
The latter sold his vineyards from 1909 to 1921, mainly to "Renneson Colin" and the Avize Koch castle and its outbuildings in 1911.
For Philippe Koch, his business was the only income and the home of the
Rue des Carmes, that of his family, since his marriage in 1905. Nevertheless,
having already sold partially to Pommery the facilities he inherited from his
father, he continued to sell, in 1908 (ground of the Avize cemetery), 1911
(Pommery), 1914 (Mumm & Pommery).
The operation was halted in 1912 and Philip Koch left Avize with his family, but maintained the house to 1928 when it was sold to Jean Stocker.
This 2 storey house located 35 rue des Carmes, Today called rue Ernest Vallé ( politician born in Avize) , was destroyed by the family Stocker , but the ground floor subsists
The revival of Champagne Koch:
In 1966, The officer of the corporation “Sekt KUPFERBERG” of Mainz, Christian Adalbert Kupferberg, bought the former Koch castle of Avize and its cellars , once renovated, his son Christian Andreas Kupferberg moved with his family to produce a Champagne called "Arthur BRICOUT ".
This was the second German immigrant to come here to create his Champagne in a little over a century.
With all the passion that we can bring to this job,Christian Andreas Kupferberg therefore recreated at Avize, "Charles Koch" Champagne "Blanc de Blanc" from the 1969 vintage, 71, 74, 76, 79, 81 and 83, as a vintage Centenary, raw 78, released in 1985 in honor of Gustave Koch and his first Special cuvee.
The association between “Arthur Bricout” and Koch family, was a commercial asset for this
wine (which in fact does not exist otherwise), and for Bricout. To this end,
Philippe Koch, great-grandson of Gustave Koch, symbolically joined in 1977, and
no consideration in the capital of Bricout. But was it necessary that the
quality of the product reflects credit to the founder, which, of course, was
The name "Castle" Avize, originally marked on the bottles of Champagne Charles Koch was the subject of a dispute with another company in Avize, arguing that the "true" Avize castles, were built by the Desbordes or De Cazanove families .
The international group of wines Racke took control of Kupferberg in 1979 .Following steady increases in capital in 1987, Bricout & Koch becomes a company controlled by the German group, which weighed in 1991, 578 million DM and had its distribution networks.
Given the need for large investments, the Germans gave way society Bricout & Koch when it began to lose money in 1998 to Financial Martin, owner of Champagne Delbeck
Bricout Delbeck in 1999 had nearly four hundred hectares of vineyards owned directly and vinicole de la chapelle Bethon-Avize (acquisition and operation of wineries). The wines of Champagne were distributed by the subsidiary Société Avizoise de Diffusion (former Bricout Distribution)
The Champagne Delbeck the creation of which dated back to 1832, a supplier of the Court of France, improved still image and reputation of Bricout & Koch.
The mark Charles Koch
continued with Delbeck, .
but was no longer a vintage wine.
After the bankruptcy of Bricout-Delbeck and recovery by the Vranken Holding ,
the Bricout & Koch castle of Avize was no longer operated, this tool producing great champagne wines remaining unused, its buildings threatened by degradations.
In 2008 it was bought by Jacques Selosse champagne of Avize . Since September 2011 the old Koch Castle of Avize is a guest house cleverly named "Hôte Les Avizés"
"Champagne Charles Koch founded in 1820 in Avize" is now a trademark owned by Champagne Charles Lafitte, but legitimately unusable with the words "since 1820" by Vranken.
Law of industrial property, says it is forbidden to place a mark only to prevent a competitor from using it. Yet, Champagne Charles Lafitte, Tours sur Marne renewed for 10 years this brand with the INPI in May 27, 2008, although it has no way to use it.
On the other hand, champagne Jacques Selosse, new operator of Bricout and Koch Castle Avize, renamed "Hotel Les Avizés" does not want to use any of this heritage from two centuries of Champagne Koch. Anselme Selosse curiously not even gives his own Champagne to the guests of the castle. The concept is to go to a castle built on Champagne cellars, whithout tasting champagne which is developed, is pretty amazing. It is possible that the price of a bottle of Champagne Selosse would double total price for the customers .
So, a vintage Champagne Charles Koch produced by Selosse is not possible.
The trademark "Champagne Charles Koch Avize since 1820," is now available for any Avize grower wishing use.
Former Champagne Bricout in 2010, owned by Champagne Selosse, it remains only the walls and basements, empty.
But from where comes the Champagne Bricout then sold today?
photo © www.lunion.presse.fr