So who is this Respinger crémant brand, what does the name stand for, where does it come from and why does it taste so good?
To start, we like to drink good stuff, good quality products that are not industrial.
As we were looking for a house champagne we tried to find a good champagne producer.
When talking to an old friend and telling him about our venture he told me that his family has been active in Cremant business and I should come and taste it.
I then went to Chateau d'Ittenwiler in Alsace, where my friend and his family lives. Funnily enough it is said that in one of the rooms Rouget de Lisle actually wrote the Marseillaise, the French national anthem. The fun fact is that actually it was ordered by our great....grand uncle Friedrich de Dietrich, at the time mayor of Strasbourg.
The Respinger part and coat of arms then stem from the side of his brother in law, our great...grandfather Peter Ochs. He was the one who introduced the Code Napoleon in Switzerland. Not everyone liked it but it is what happened. His sons actually changed the names from Ochs to His (after their grandfather Pierre His, at his time one of the richest merchants in Germany).
Now one of those His descendants, Cecile, married Basel merchant Wilhelm Respinger. The interesting part of the family continues as his sons and daughters married all over the place. His son-in-law was Alexander Clavel, who with the inheritance of his wife Fanny Respinger managed to create a successful company that ended up in being what is Novartis today. They resided in beautiful Wenkenhof estate.
The other daughter lived in the "Berower Gut" which is now owned by Fondation Beyerle, the well known art museum in Basel. Going backwards in time it is also interesting as Peter Ochs directly descends from Charles the Great, hence our friend from Chateau d'Ittenwiller and us are cousins as he also can draw a direct line to the Carolinger family.
When we tasted the cremant we were blown away as we found it much better than the usual champagne in the market such as Moet, Veuve etc. As it regularly wins blind tastings against those brands we figured, instead of champagne we will use a cremant as house bubbles.
And as the history of the family has been so interesting and coincides with the interesting taste of the cremant, combined with the origins of the Marseillaise, de Dietrich and Rouget de Lisle, we figured that a proper name would be Respinger
It happens that we are not the only ones to like it and as reference we are listed amongst others in https://www.schlosshotelberlin.com/ or created a special edition for the chief general of the German army. More to find on the lower part of the website.