Nathalie Vranken

France in the 19th century was craving change and creativity. The new society that emerged at this time gave birth to the famous brands that are now referred to as “luxury brands,” for which the unique know-how transmitted from generation to generation was center stage, a tradition that continues to embody excellence today. Alongside Louis Cartier and Thierry Hermès, a singular woman also imposed her vision: Madame Pommery. With the creation of the first brut in history, Madame Pommery presented a unique definition of Champagne.

This creation of the brut category in 1874 remains the foundation of the house, the basis for its history.

Maison Pommery’s quest for excellence does not stop at this unique creation. After the brut came the millésime, a unique vintage bottling highlighting the seven grands crus that compose it.

It is, therefore, easy to understand why Maison Pommery did not produce any other prestigious cuvée apart from this one for a long time.

It took almost 100 years and all the thoughtfulness of Prince Alain de Polignac for the creation of Cuvée Louise in 1979, a vibrant tribute to women. Nothing more mysterious, nothing more sophisticated, nothing more elegant has been produced since then. Cuvée Louise is a story, a beautiful story, as can only be narrated by the very best of artisans.

The first brut in history
In 1858, Madame Pommery took over as head of Pommery & Greno after the death of her husband, basing the expansion of her house on the creation of wines unlike any others, with one consistent demand: quality pushed to the extreme. Aware of how important the grapes’ origins were to the quality of her wines, she built a collection over the years of the finest vineyards in Champagne. In matters of taste she was ahead of her time. It was she who created Pommery Nature in 1874, the first brut Champagne to meet with commercial success, thereby breaking with the tradition of very sweet wine. A woman in a man’s world, she imprinted her personality on her Champagnes. The purity and finesse of Pommery wines perpetuate this legacy.

Le domaine Pommery, an amazing dream
By 1863, with the increasing growth of sales and the adoption of a stocks management strategy by Madame Pommery to ensure the qualitative regularity of each cuvée, it became evident that there was a shortage of space in the cellars of her house on Rue Vauthier-Le-Noir, in the heart of Reims. Madame Pommery knew well that, if she wanted to secure the success of her ever-growing and self-sustaining brand, she needed a more workable establishment, bringing together at a single location all of her winemaking activities. The hill of Saint-Nicaise, then at the outskirts of Reims, overlooking the cathedral, offered numerous advantages: available land, the possibility for expansion, the nearby passage of the imperial route, and the presence of the Galloroman chalk quarries. In July 1868, Madame Pommery launched what would be the largest construction project of the century in Reims: the transformation of the chalk pits into wine cellars. It took an immense work site, with construction lasting more than 10 years, to build all of the exterior buildings, plant 25 hectares of vineyards and dig the 18 kilometers of interconnected galleries that linked the 60 chalk pits to one another. The Pommery estate measures 55 hectares in total, which, by way of comparison, is the equivalent of the Louvre museum, the Tuileries garden, and the Place de la Concorde combined.

Cuvée Louise 2005 “Parcelle”, the exceptional new vintage
The 2005 harvest, which took place under fresh, dry and sunny weather conditions, was marked by quality and abundance. All of the ingredients came together to deliver a great vintage for a new Cuvée Louise. By taking the time to select the best parcels, by waiting as long as necessary before harvesting, by picking only the finest bunches, by selecting the purest juices during pressing, Maison Pommery has succeeded in perfectly revealing the potential of this exceptional year, while preserving the identity of the terroirs of the three grands crus composing the Cuvée Louise: Ay, Avize and Cramant. Cuvée Louise 2005 harmoniously merges these three terroirs to express the quintessence of the Pommery style, while taking on the characteristic features of the vintage.

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