According to legend, Johann Evangelist Hubert was a French soldier wounded during the Napoleonic wars in Russia. While returning to his homeland, he passed through Bratislava and had his wounds treated at the local military hospital. It was here that he met, fell in love with and married a nurse called Paulina. Knowing the secret of producing Champagne production and admiring the local wines he found in Bratislava, Johann Evangelist Hubert founded his own company, J. E. Hubert, in 1825. It was the first Champagne producer outside France to use the original French method.
So much for legend; the real story is less romantic.
In reality, two Bratislava burghers named Johann Fischer and Michael Schönbauer - the latter knew how Champagne was produced - started a factory for sparkling wine in Bratislava in 1825. During the firm’s early years, close adherence to the original procedures and production methods along with excellent quality of local wines brought the company recognition and success both at home and abroad.
The Hubert family, however, did not appear on the scene until 1875, when Franz Hubert became the co-owner of the company.
After a period of turmoil caused by two world wars and a global depression, the firm’s private ownership era ended in December 1948, along with its connection with the Hubert family. In March 1949, the company was incorporated into the state-owned Západoslovenský Liehový Priemysel (West Slovak Alcohol Works) in Leopoldov. Three years later, the factory was moved to Sereď. After the Velvet Revolution it returned to private hands, and since January 1, 2002 it has been a subsidiary of the German company Henkell & Söhnlein Sektkellereien KG, Wiesbaden.
25. Dec 2008 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková