Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Henri Goutorbe, of the champagne estate in Aÿ, passed away on Friday, 6 February. He was 86 years old. Goutorbe began bottling and selling grower champagne under his own label in the late 1940s, from vines that his father, Emile, had been able to purchase after the First World War. The family already had an established nursery business, for the propagation and distribution of vine cuttings, and Goutorbe developed his champagne estate while continuing to carry on the family’s other activities.
Both businesses are still owned and managed by the Goutorbe family: Champagne Henri Goutorbe is a highly-regarded, 25-hectare grower-estate with vineyard holdings in Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and other villages in the Grande Vallée de la Marne, while the pépinière, or vine nursery, is one of the most significant in Champagne today.
Henri Goutorbe’s son René has been at the helm of the estate since 1970, and continues to run it today with his wife Nicole and their children Elisabeth and Etienne.