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Champagne Pommery: Steeped in History and Art
180,000 Visitors Annually to This UNESCO World Heritage Site
While visiting Reims and the Champagne region in August, I wanted to see Champagne Pommery. See “Live from Champagne, 2023 France Press Tour.” I have often tasted their small “Pop Extra Dry Splits” that are great to put in your picnic basket. However, I had not tasted their vintage and rosé offerings to any extent. I was highly pleased with the results. The Pommery Cuvée Louise was exquisite, and the Pommery Brut Rosé Royal may become my go-to house rosé Champagne. Each year, the Pommery Champagne house offers an immersive contemporary art exhibition in its Gallo-Roman cellars which were chalk quarries, a show called “The Pommery Experience.”
Although it was an extremely stormy day in Reims, the draw of visiting the Elizabethan neo-Gothic architecture of the Champagne house is strong. The winery is distinctive both inside and outside. The integration of art into the 18 KM of wine cellars made from chalk quarries is incredible. As you take the 116 steps downward into the cellars, you get a sense of the early history of this Champagne house and Madame Pommery’s market-driven “city” storage areas. As you tour the cellars, you’ll see, among others, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Normandie, and Miami wine aging storage areas so named when Madame Pommery cracked into those markets.
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The History of Champagne Pommery: Creator of Brut
In 1858 Madame Louise Pommery took over as head of Pommery after her husband, Alexander Louis Pommery’s, death. She expanded the winery, unlike many of her time, by pushing for exacting quality in the wines. She built some of the finest vineyards in the area. In 1874 this visionary leader created Pommery Nature, the first brut-style Champagne, breaking that century’s tradition of drinking very sweet sparkling wine. Today, 92% of Champagne is made in this brut/dry style. A woman in a man’s world, she imprinted her personality on her Champagnes.
“Damas, we need a wine that is as dry as possible, but without rigidity…It should be soft and velvety on the palate. Above all, make sure it has finesse.” – Madame Louise Pommery, 1874
Champagne Pommery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 and receives 180,000 visitors to the cellar per year. The Chef des Caves, Clement Pierlot, is leading the conversion of all Pommery-owned vineyards to organic within three years. Pommery continues to be a market-leader.
Where to Stay:
La Caserne Chanzy Spa and Hotel, Marriott Autograph Collection (our current choice).
Best Western Hôtel Center Reims -Modern rooms in the heart of Reims.
L’Assiette Champenoise (a Relais & Chateau Hotel) Stately hotel thar features its eponymous Michelin 3 Star Restaurant, Chef, Arnaud Lallement.
Pommery Brut Royal, NV, Champagne, France, $54
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points
Pommery Brut Rosé Royal, Champagne, France $65
Wine Spectator, 91 Points
Pommery Cuvée Louise 2005, Champagne, France, $230
Wine Spectator, 92 Points
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