Pommery

 

OUR VINES IN CHAMPAGNE

Champagne is a unique region, a unique wine, the oldest AOC in France and is only produced in the specific area delimited by law on 22 July 1927. Out of the 34,000 hectares making up our vineyards in Champagne, we have contracts on almost 2,000 hectares and we wholly own and cultivate 255 hectares using sustainable wine growing methods.

Sustainable wine growing is a collective approach operated in Champagne since 2001. It was introduced following a standard written by the ‘Sustainable wine growing in Champagne’ inter-professional group and vineyard self-diagnostic. Major environmental protection efforts were undertaken, in several areas, such as soil work, vine management, waste management, vine protection products, etc.

CUVÉE LOUISE, HEIR TO A STYLE

The ultimate expression of a genius woman’s personality. Cuvée Louise owes its name to the visionary, avant-garde woman who gave the world a brand-new style, a pure, fine, elegant style all Pommery’s own. 

THE MIRACLE OF LOUISE (1857/1922)

After making a fortune in the wool industry, in 1856, Mr Pommery was in fragile health and decided to retire from business and enjoy a quiet life. His son Louis was no longer a child. Mr Pommery and his wife did not have any special plans. They simply wanted to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. But destiny had other things in store for them… Madame Pommery discovered she was expecting a child, at the age of 38. This miraculous pregnancy, more than 17 years after her first, would change their lives forever. To provide for his baby daughter, Mr Pommery decided to go back into business. But the wool industry was in crisis. However, the champagne trade was booming.

In the inventory on 31 December 1856, all of Pommery’s wines were grands crus. The company changed its name, but it gained great strengths and talents. Henry Vasnier, the 24-year-old financial and administrative director, and Adolphe Hubinet, the 23-year-old business director, joined the team. When Mr Pommery died on 18 February 1858, his wife looked at baby Louise, who was not even a year old, and mustered up the strength to set out on an incredible journey. With this same pride, passion, and emotion, we are trying to reproduce Madame Pommery’s miracle, which we have given the sweet name of Louise.

A SMART WOMAN WITH A BIG HEART AND A STRONG WILL

In 1857, the wool industry was in crisis, and Mr Pommery moved into the champagne trade to provide for his infant daughter. He died a year later in February 1858. The rest is history: the young widow Pommery took over the champagne business and led it on to success and glory.

Louise Pommery grew up to be a gentle, attractive, and discerning young woman. She married the count and future marquis Guy de Polignac in 1875. In 1890, upon their mother’s death, Louis and Louise took over management of the company, while Henry Vasnier remained director. It was a painstaking effort for Madame Pommery to acquire the estate’s first 18 hectares. Louis Pommery and his sister, the Marquise of Polignac, gradually bought up the other 282 hectares.

A SPECIAL CUVÉE INSPIRED BY A GREAT FIGURE IN CHAMPAGNE

Cuvée Louise, an extremely pure champagne, was created in 1979. Pommery’s prestige cuvée is faithful to the high standards of the woman who inspired it, made from the best plots of vines that are jealously kept for this wine alone.
In the tradition of Pommery Nature 1874, Louise is a prestige Cuvée with extremely low sugar content. Behind this apparent simplicity, there are unique processes at play, used at every stage of winemaking, so that Cuvée Louise can take the time to embody the quintessence of Pommery style. 

I AM MADAME POMMERY…

‘I resolved to continue with the business and take over for my husband… ’
In 1858, the determined young widow set out to conquer the national and international markets. She had no qualms about shaking up the rules of corporate management. She was one of the first people in business to lay out a system for promoting luxury products, including style, branding, communication, and public relations. She invented Pommery’s brand image.

This businesswoman used her fortune to good ends, setting up the first pension fund and a social security system for her employees. She also founded the orphanage in Reims and its maternity fund. Through these actions, she invented the corporate code of conduct. 

DOMAINE POMMERY, A LIFE’S WORK

‘I wanted this estate to read like an open book, telling the story of the changing world around it and the passage of time. Leave your mark here as I left my eternal trace. May it be worthy of respect for this champagne that is now our shared soul, one that bears—now and forever—the memory of our art’. Madame Pommery

In July 1868, Madame Pommery launched what would be the largest construction project of the century in Reims, the transformation of chalk quarries into wine cellars. French and Belgian miners dug 18 kilometres of interconnected galleries formed of barrel vaults and rib vaults. It is a giant subterranean town. Working by candlelight, Navlet adorned the plazas, formed by ancient wells, with immense bas-relief sculptures, going blind in the process.

The bas-relief artwork accentuates the surreal beauty of these grandiose galleries, which are cast in permanent twilight. A splendid monumental staircase with 116 steps is the sole connection between this underground world and the one outside. 

A FEAT OF URBAN PLANNING

Today, the estate measures 50 hectares, which is the equivalent of the Louvre, the Tuileries, and the Place de la Concorde combined. The buildings and landscaped gardens are just as fascinating to tourists as they are to art and architecture historians. Their layout is at once rational, obeying the dictates of operational efficiency, and aesthetic, integrated with the urban landscape. Where elsewhere the rational is at war with the aesthetic, here the two modes are complementary.  English society set the tone for the entire world.

The Elizabethan neo-Gothic style was very popular in Reims, with its turrets, crenellations, and donjon towers and red brick ties covered with a blue-grey façade. However, the avant-garde spirit was still prominent. Built on an H-shaped open plan, the buildings were arranged contrary to Champagne’s architectural tradition, according to which houses should face inward onto themselves, like 18th-century French mansions. There was however a concrete reason for the open plan: it made future expansion easier. It is also characteristic of a certain philosophy of breaking down barriers, inviting people in, opening up to the outside world, and opening up the world. 

THE UNDERGROUND WORLD OF POMMERY

Madame Pommery also started the tradition of naming the cellar galleries after major world cities once her champagne reached their markets. Visitors enter through the Carnot cellar, the company’s central building topped with its imposing donjon tower, which stands right on top of the grand staircase. The inside and the outside worlds were built almost at the same time.
The first cellars were already in use when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870. Large-scale works were inaugurated in 1878. The gardens were designed starting in 1880.

CELLAR DIRECTOR

Thierry Gasco was born in 1952 and has a French national degree in oenology. He has been Pommery’s Cellar Director since 1992. This man, who was born and bred in Champagne, was appointed Chief Cellar Director in early 2001. After serving as President of the Champagne Oenologists’ Association for nine years, La Revue du Champagne voted him ‘man of the year’ in 2001.

He has also been President of the French Oenologists’ Association since 2004, after being reappointed to office in 2007, and he holds a position on the CIVC’s Technical and Wine/Safety/Health Commissions. In 2004, he was appointed as a Qualified Personality on the INAO’s National Committee, a position that was renewed in 2007.

Thierry Gasco is head of Vineyard Relations, a position that guarantees grape supply for winemaking and ensures Pommery’s technical and oenological communication within France and internationally. He is in charge of the quality, safety, and environment departments to get staff ready for AFAQ’s ISO 9001 and 14001 audits and oversees continuing improvement, in particular through the Global Compact. 

MAKING POMMERY CHAMPAGNE

‘Madame Pommery had two words to describe her champagne: cheerful lightness. Taking it one step further, Pommery stands for delicacy and vivacity, heart and spirit, a style made of finesse whose musical score highlights the elegance of aromas before their power. It is a style full of freshness, with notes that come together like a witty dialogue, remaining on the palate with tender flavours. ’
Thierry Gasco, 9th Pommery Cellar Director.

  • The grapes are pressed in traditional presses that contain 4,000 kg of grapes, from which 2,550 litres of juice are extracted.
  • Initial alcoholic fermentation turns the grape juice contained in the vats into wine, under the action of selected yeasts.
  • Several wines made from different varietals, different crus, or different vintages, are blended to create and perpetuate the Pommery style.

OUR VINES IN CHAMPAGNE

Champagne is a unique region, a unique wine, the oldest AOC in France and is only produced in the specific area delimited by law on 22 July 1927. Out of the 34,000 hectares making up our vineyards in Champagne, we have contracts on almost 2,000 hectares and we wholly own and cultivate 255 hectares using sustainable wine growing methods.

Sustainable wine growing is a collective approach operated in Champagne since 2001. It was introduced following a standard written by the ‘Sustainable wine growing in Champagne’ inter-professional group and vineyard self-diagnostic. Major environmental protection efforts were undertaken, in several areas, such as soil work, vine management, waste management, vine protection products, etc.

CUVÉE LOUISE, A DEDICATED, LISTED VINEYARD

The Cuvée Louise vineyard, made up exclusively of the top three Grands Crus: Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnays and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir.

Vines on the mid-hillside, vines in the air and vines upland… the plots of land in the Cuvée Louise vineyard are selected both for their location at the heart of the terroir, their performance over the years and the rich aroma of their grapes. And by their nature, they most faithfully convey the subtlety of the Pommery style.

CLOS POMPADOUR, 25 HECTARES OF VINES IN THE HEART OF REIMS

The Clos Pompadour, which bear the charming, evocative name of Madame de Pompadour, are 25 hectares of vines enclosed within the walls of Domaine Pommery.
The biggest enclosures in Champagne have resulted in a unique champagne which, sealing its exclusivity, is available in magnum only.

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