Any Pommery Champagne fans out there? Chances are, yes. As one of the best-known Champagne labels, the house of Pommery enjoys a stellar reputation among wine lovers. Success in the wine business doesn’t just happen overnight, though. It was over centuries that Pommery Champagne earned its privileged position. Let’s look at some of the secrets behind Pommery’s success.
A 30-second history of Pommery Champagne
Pommery Champagne was founded in Reims in 1858 by Alexandre Louis Pommery and Narcisse Greno. In those early days, the company was known as Pommery & Greno, and its primary business was not Champagne, but wool. It was Pommery’s widow, however, that would develop Pommery Champagne into one of the world’s leading producers of sparkling wine.
Pommery Champagne and the Lady of the Roses
Madame Louise Pommery, Alexandre Louis’ widow, is one of the most iconic women in the history of wine. It was her influence, either directly or indirectly, that led to the success of the Pommery Champagne house. She took over the company in 1860 and undertook various innovative initiatives that forged the very identity of Pommery.
Nicknamed “The Lady of the Roses”, Madame Pommery will go down in history as a true champion of Champagne.
The secrets to Pommery Champagne’s success
1. Pommery Champagne was among the first to use underground cellars
Today, many of the great Champagne houses use the network of crayères – underground pits of limestone and chalk – to store and age their wine. This underground environment has all the natural characteristics needed to store wine in a cool, dark place and at a constant, ideal temperature. Visitors to Champagne today will be shown proudly around the various underground tunnels and cellars, but they were not always used in this way.
Madame Pommery was one of the very first to make use of the crayères for this purpose. She bought up some 120 crayères and effectively created the modern Champagne cellar.
2. Pommery invented Brut Champagne…
Way back in 1874, Brut Champagne was not the commercial heavyweight it is today. Sweet or demi-sec Champagne was in fashion when Madame Pommery made the bold move to introduce a bone-dry style. Madame Pommery charged Pommery Champagne’s Cellar Director, Olivier Demas, with the challenge.
It was no mean feat, but Monsieur Demas rose to the challenge. Pommery Nature 1874 was the first Brut Champagne to hit the market. The dry, racy and finesse of the style became an instant classic and inspired many imitators. Most Champagne houses today consider their Brut to be the benchmark for everything else they produce, representing the very essence of the house style and brand. This all started with Pommery Champagne.
3. …and hasn’t stopped innovating since!
Madame Pommery has long since passed away, of course, but her innovative and creative spirit surely lives on. Champagne is often seen as a conservative and old-fashioned wine region, though there are innovators at work here without a doubt. Pommery Champagne is one of the leaders of this charge and always has been. Whether it’s eco-friendly Champagne, launching a Champagne for each season or even the introduction of a 200ml portable Champagne, there is no signs of stopping.
Tasting Pommery Champagne
The first Brut Pommery Champagne, Pommery Nature, is long gone. Today, the house’s flagship non-vintage Brut is Pommery Brut Royal, a rather classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Pale yellow with a little green here and there, nice fine bubbles.
Lively and tingly in the nose, with fresh fruits and some bready, yeasty notes.
Elegant, fine and refreshing. Some berry fruit flavour and some toasted notes. The finish is very pleasant and long-lasting.
Alcohol content: 12,5%Serve between 4ºC and 8ºCOptimal consumption period: 2017-2018Best served in Champagne GlassPairing: Appetizers, Bluefish, Fowl, Seafood, Soft Cheese, Whitefish.