What does the legend say?
According to the legend the Company was founded by a young French soldier named Johann Evangelist Hubert who was originally from Champagne. Johann was wounded during the failed Napoleon’s expedition to Russia and before returning home he was recovering in a military hospital in Pressburg that is called Bratislava today. His caregiver was the pretty nurse Paulína, whom he fell in love with and got married to. The young Johann was spellbound not just by the pretty Paulína, but also by the high-quality local wines, and since he was familiar with the secrets of champagne manufacturing, he decided to establish a sparkling wine factory in 1825. At the time it was the first factory in Europe outside of France that manufactured champagne using an original French recipe...
And what happened for real?
The first factory in Europe outside of France where sparkling wine was produced following the original French recipe was founded by the Bratislava burghers Johann Fischer and Michael Schönbauer in 1825. Bratislava became the cradle of sparkling wine in Europe and the first city outside of France where this wine was produced. The company was headquartered in the former Krajinska cesta that is now Radlinského Street. The factory was located on the site of the new building of the Chemistry and Technology Faculty of the Slovak Institute of Technology (STU).
The first member of the Hubert family who in 1875 appears as the co-owner of the champagne factory along with Fischer, is Franz Hubert, the younger brother of Johann Evangelist Hubert, the legendary founder. The Hubert family bought the entire company from Johann Fischer In 1877. It was then that the bottle labels started to bear the coat of arms of the Hubert family granted by the Emperor. In 1877 J. E. Hubert became the owner of the company, but he died in 1882 at the age of merely 33 following a serious illness. His wife Pauline famous from the same legend took over the Company’s management. Pauline was diligent and open-minded and developed the business in every respect.
The economic crisis in the early 1900’s and later WW1 led to a significant drop in champagne and sparkling wine demand. Unfortunately the Company’s fate is unknown during the period 1918 – 1945. On 5 June 1945 the Company was forcefully taken over due to the reason that the owner was a Hungarian, which was unacceptable to the Czechoslovak Republic. Since that time until the end of 1948 the Company was subject to the post-war crisis and was handed down between numerous owners.
Hubert J.E. underwent a long development since the end of WW2 until it became a subsidiary of the German Henkell&Co on 1 January 2002. Following WW2, in December 1948, the era of private ownership of Hubert J. E. was over and also the era of the Hubert family ownership was over. In March 1949 the Company became part of the national company Západoslovenský liehový priemysel in Leopoldov. In 1952 the factory was moved to Sereď and it became a private joint stock company Hubert J.E. on 1 August 1995. The Sereď factory is operational at present.