The birth story of the world’s first official Champagne hotel
The person behind the hotel is,
the pioneer in promoting Champagne culture in Japan.
Today, Champagne is casually available in restaurants and bars, however, until a few decades ago, there were still very few places in cities for a casual glass of Champagne. In other words, it was the “dawn of Champagne” in Japan. Since those days, there is a man who has traveled to France repeatedly to experience the passion of the winemakers. He is Mr. Kazuhito Yamamoto, a J.S.A. certified senior sommelier. He has been working for many years “to promote Champagne culture in Japan,” and is currently managing a Champagne bar. The Champagne Hotel was fully produced by Mr. Yamamoto.
In 2012, Mr. Yamamoto founded “Lien d’Or de Champagne” with the aim of promoting Champagne culture in Japan. He organizes one of the largest Champagne events in Japan, hosting Champagne festivals in various locations. He was also appointed as an Officier, the higher rank of the Order of Champagne, a group of Champagne lovers established by the nobles at the court of Louis XIV. The Champagne producers have great confidence in him because of his various activities and personality related to Champagne.
Life-changing encounter with a bottle of Champagne.
Mr. Yamamoto’s Champagne life began when he was 20 years old at a wine party he attended. He had a stunning encounter with a rare bottle of “”Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1985,”” which was only available in five vintages (1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985). The artistic and delicious taste of this wine fascinated him and led him into a deeper world.
It has a delicate taste and bubbles that no other wine can express. When you sip a glass of Champagne, you mysteriously forget all the unpleasant things and feel happiness.
“”How is this enchanting Champagne made?”” It was about 25 years ago that he first visited France, the birthplace of Champagne, with an interest in the background of this mysterious and beautiful wine.
The very edge place of the northern limit of grape production.
Passionate wines grown in a harsh environment.
Champagne is a very cold region, just at the northern limit of grape production. It is often severely damaged by frost, hail and snow. It is hard to say that Champagne region is blessed area for viticulture.
Mr. Yamamoto first visited Champagne in the early 1990s. Not many Japanese traveled to Champagne, and the wine tourism was not yet as developed as it is today. Nevertheless, all the Champagne producers were very welcoming him, as if they were inviting a family member. Visited a variety of producers, from major houses to small family-run houses, and experienced firsthand the craftsmanship and philosophy of the people of Champagne.
The wines are made by taking advantage of the harsh environment and making the best use of the sharpness and acidity that only a cold region can produce. The traditional technique of blending wines from different vintages, known as “assemblage,” has been developed and continues to be produced with high quality.
Mr. Yamamoto said that “The wines are the outcome of craftsmanship, and are made with a great deal of care and effort by the human hands and this is the reason why “Champagne is art”. Above all, there are people who are involved in manufacturing with insatiable passion in this cold and harsh region. I still strongly believe that it is our job to share their passion to the world”.
The story behind the birth of the one and only hotel brand.
It was about a year and a half ago that we were initially asked to plan a hotel project, “to build a business hotel in Osaka, targeting inbound demand. However, there were many hotels under construction in Osaka, and our company representative, Mr. Matsuyama, was concerned that a simple business hotel would not differentiate itself from the competition.
During this time that we learned the activities of Mr. Yamamoto, a key person in the Champagne field based in Osaka, we approached him with the idea of this hotel. From there, Mr. Yamamoto himself approached Champagne producers and collaborated with Champagne maisons to create a single hotel.
While more and more hotels are established every day, we at Onko-Chishin Brand place great importance on one thing: “We pay careful attention to each and every hotel and create a one-of-a-kind concept”.
It is to “carefully face each and every inn and set forth a one-of-a-kind concept. We focus on the local landscape, architecture, history, food, culture, and people. Focusing on these tangible elements, we will unravel them from our own perspective and express them as a hotel.
We believe that this will lead to the creation of a one and only hotel. Without Mr. Yamamoto, we could not have realized this project. We support and accompany someone’s romance. A hotel that is born out of the passion and connection of individuals.
Why not have such a hotel?
This is the reason why “Champagne Hotel” was born, and why we are creating a one and only hotel.