The founder of Champagne De Watère, Martin A. Konorza made a profession out of his passion for luxurious living and exclusive products and brings this spirit to people on the same pursuit for excellence.
Born in Germany and growing up in Cologne, Munich, and London, Martin A. Konorza is a true connoisseur of champagnes.
Martin’s passion for champagne runs in his veins as his first known ancestor was a Frenchman named De Watère, recorded in the Domesday Book in England, in 1086. This long history serves as an inspiration to live up to this long tradition with upright and decent action.
Champagne has always played an important role in the De Watère family, not merely as a celebratory drink but more so as a reason to draw them together as a family.
“Growing up, champagne was a staple for occasions such as birthdays, new year, and sometimes “just because”. However, I was always left disappointed by the taste. No champagne I tasted lived up to its reputation of being the “King of Wines”. It seemed, they only lived by feeding off of the reputation that had been built over centuries instead of filling that promise with life. Champagne being so important to all aspects of life, I ventured out to develop my own that meets these promises.”
Martin embarked on a journey to discover the true soul of champagne and to create a completely new way of enjoying it. After many years of careful development, he launched the De Watère premium champagne brand in 2011.
The name “De Watère” and its symbol, the Gryphon Theodore, are a tribute to Konorza’s French ancestors, whose crest was a blue Gryphon.
“The proud Gryphon Theodore serves as the guardian of special moments and our strong values. He makes sure that we keep everything tidy around here too,” – jokes Martin.
What is the key to producing quality champagne?
“Oh my, there are many,” – laughs Martin. – “I think it boils down to curiosity, empathy, and self-confidence. It began with me being disappointed with modern champagnes. They didn’t meet the expectation of being exceptional as a wine, being above all the others.
We decided to find where it went wrong and found that after removing all manipulation on the grape we can look at the result and support the grape if necessary. We found that we don’t need to manipulate but just respect the grape as being perfectly capable of creating an amazingly aromatic and powerful champagne.”
Respecting nature and the grape, De Watère employs horses in the vineyard and avoids pesticides and herbicides. Picking is naturally done by hand as is the rattling and disgorging of the bottles.
“We found that we simply need to respect the grape and feel what it needs. During its development in the bottles, we periodically taste the champagnes to release them at their ideal point of development. This results in our champagnes having different development times from edition to edition.
For our Prestige Cuvées, we print the relevant production dates on every bottle for the customer to see. Of course, this journey hasn’t been without adversaries and we needed to stick together as a team, believing in our vision and our way, no matter what others tell us. Our customers and nearly three dozen gold medals from all sorts of competitions are a testament to this way of being right. We believe going above and beyond is what both champagne and the customer deserve.”
During the past decade, the brand has been participating in quite a few partnerships from private tastings over the Monaco Yacht Show to the Monaco Streaming Film festival which they have been supporting since their first edition. For the same period of time they have had a Brand Ambassador in Monaco who helps facilitate their activities.
Why do you prefer Monaco over other luxury destinations?
“Monaco is Monaco. I think one needs to experience the place, people, and atmosphere over time to truly understand what that means,” – smiles Martin. – “To me, Monaco makes nothing seem beyond or not worth trying.
It embodies the expression “living your best life”. By that, I mean that you choose how you want to spend your life. Be an actor? Entrepreneur? Artist? Your choice.
Another thing that unites here: no matter what you do, you give it your best shot, do it with passion and the proverbial Mediterranean “Savoir vivre“.”
And in terms of luxury business?
“Monaco is the eye of the needle. Anyone who has any connection to the luxury business comes through here at some point.
That makes Monaco the ideal place to be if you value the best in anything with a unique combination of tradition and innovation.”
The brand’s luxury champagnes are produced exclusively from the Cuvée presage in Premier Cru locations in the beautiful little village of Avenay Val d’Or, Champagne, France.
Everything at Champagne De Watère – from harvesting the grapes to making the cases – is done purely by the hand of expert craftsmen.
The sustainably managed Premier Cru vineyards offer the perfect conditions for growing first-class grapes: the climate in Champagne allows the grapes to reach their full maturity potential, which in turn brings out the freshness and finesse of the luxurious champagnes from De Watère.
How would you differentiate your champagne from the other premium ones?
“The basic idea is totally the opposite. Instead of trying to form the grape into a predefined taste profile, we give the grape what it needs to fully develop.
We ask “how can we create the true and pure expression of what champagne promises to be?“. We proudly carry the motto: De Watère proves why champagne is the King of Wines.”
While in the past decade Champagne De Watère has been serving its customers directly, the brand is now eager to start serving establishments in Monaco.
Do you prefer Rosé or Blanc?
“It is a difficult question. Depending on the situation, I enjoy both. My champagnes are pretty heavy on red grapes anyway, therefore, very fruity.
I serve our entry-level TEN21 for the typical occasion of receptions, Prestige Blanc for light food, and the Prestige Rosé de Saignée as the showpiece, being truly mind-blowingly aromatic and complex. For this, I recommend proper food as a companion.”
Interestingly, the name TEN21 was created to honour the 10 years of existence of De Watère in 2021 (expressed in the name „TEN“ and „21“). This is the champagne that conjures up images of the French Riviera, punctuated with tangy lemon and cherry trees, rounded with the sweet touch of buttery biscuit.