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‘A duty to delight since 1849’
Pol Roger, Champagne house founded in 1849 and still in family hands.
Primum Familiae Vini (often abbreviated PFV, Latin: "First/best families of the wine")
As of 2009, PFV has eleven members.
Antinori, Tuscany, Italy
Château Mouton Rothschild, Bordeaux (Pauillac), France
Maison Joseph Drouhin, Burgundy (Beaune), France
Egon Müller Scharzhof, Mosel (Saar), Germany
Famille Hugel, Alsace, France
Pol Roger, Champagne, France
Famille Perrin (owners of Château de Beaucastel), Rhône (Orange), France, from 2006
Symington Family, Douro/Oporto, Portugal
Tenuta San Guido (the producer of Sassicaia), Tuscany, Italy
Bodegas Torres, Catalonia, Spain
Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero, Spain
The wines rank high among the top champagne houses for quality, although it is one of the smaller GRANDES MARQUES. Pol Roger owns
- 90 ha of vineyards on prime sites in the Vallée d’Épernay and on the
- Côte des Blancs and latterly on the
- Montagne de Reims. 7 km of particularly deep cellars house nine million bottles.
Pol Roger Brut–34% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Meunier. A blend of
30 wines, including older vintage reserve wines.
Pol Roger Brut Vintage–60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.
Itis only made in the best years. The dosage is 10.5g/L.
Pol Roger Pure–34% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Meunier. Similar to the Pol Roger Brut, but with zero dosage. •
Pol Roger Rich–34% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Meunier. Similar to the Pol Roger Brut, except made in a demi-sec style with a dosage of 34g/L. •
Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs–100% Chardonnay.
- Pol Roger Rose–60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. A vintage wine only produced in the best years, this rose is made with the addition of 15% Coteaux Champenois Rouge,
- The dosage is 10.5g/L.
Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill– Pol Roger’s top cuvée is named Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill and was created in 1975.The exact composition of this wine has always been a family secret, however, it is Pinot Noir dominant, combined with Chardonnay. The grapes are all from Grand Cru villages and the wine is only produced in the best years. Until the 2000 vintage, there had only been 13 releases of this wine. The dosage is 10.5g/L.
About 51% of fruit comes from their own 90 hectares of vineyards, (Stelzer) •Chef de Cave Dominique Petit, emphasis on precision. Stainless steel fermentation, temperature control. Musts undergo a double cold-settling process at 5°C. A cool primary fermentation is drawn out over 15 days, maintaining fruit freshness. (Stelzer) •Secondary fermentation is also cool thanks to 7.5km of cellars which are the coolest (9-11°C) and deepest (uto33 metres) in Epernay. (Stelzer)
•Riddling is done exclusively by hand, with 4 riddlers turning 50,000 to 60,000 bottles each per day. (Stelzer) •The family decides on the final assemblage (Stevenson) When were they established?1849–1899•Pol Roger made his first sale of wine in January 1849. Family circumstances forced him to set up a business: his father, a notary, had contracted an incurable disease and could no longer carry on his practice. The customer was a merchant in Aÿ, the native village of Pol Roger. The firm developed rapidly. From Aÿ, it moved to Epernay in1851.•As early as1855, Pol began to favour the production of brut Champagne. He knew that this was the type of Champagne which the English preferred. •By1899, when its founder died, the brand had acquired an enviable amount of recognition. It had only taken about thirty years... 1900–1918•On 23rd February 1900, a disaster occurred:
part of the cellars and the buildings collapsed. Five hundred casks and one and a half million bottles were lost. By this time, Pol Roger's sons, Maurice and Georges, were in charge of the firm. A show of solidarity together with the brothers' determination enabled the firm to overcome this catastrophe. •Exports progressed and many crowned heads became customers of the brand.
The top restaurants onthe Champs-Elysées were serving Pol Roger, but the First World War was to bring this expansion to a halt. •1919–1945•Prohibition in the United States and the Russian Revolution made export openings more difficult. Yet Pol Roger Champagne was present in more and more countries, and the firm's expansion continued. Thefounding family's direct control over the firm helped itto maintain its identity asit grew. •Then came the Crisis of1929 which rendered the economic situation difficult. When the Germans occupied France during the Second World War, the production and the buying of Champagne were controlled by the Wehrmacht. •1946–1999•The emblematic figure of Winston Churchill left his mark on the post-war period. This British statesman was an unwavering client of the firm: "the most delightful address in the world", he declared. •
It was in1955 that a general improvement in sales could be felt. The range of wines was enlarged, and this gave an additional impetus to the development of Pol Roger's fame. In1961, a vintage rosé was launched. •A few years later, a special vintage was born, the Cuvée Blanc de Blancs.
The celebrated Cuvée Winston Churchill was born in1975 and launched at Blenheim Palace in magnums only. Whyare they significant or important?What makes them stand out (e.g. production/style/range of brands/marketing)•Pol Roger is perhaps best known as Winston Churchill's favourite Champagne. The house remains family-owned and has a reputation for producing champagnes of finesse and elegance which age very well.
Pol RogerNV was the official Champagne of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in2011.
- •Pol Roger is known for its deep cellars, which create particularly cool cellar temperatures (9°C). Apparently this slows down the second fermentation in bottle, making the size of the bubbles is tiny, and the mousse particularly fine.
- •Pol Roger has become the official Champagne supplier of the Event Rider Masters, strengthening its sponsorship role in the equestrian sector.
- Pol Roger has appointed London-based design and marketing agency St Luke’s Communications to launch a new UK campaign with the tagline ͞'a duty to delight since 1849͟.
- Polo Roger produces in the region of 1.8 million bottles per annum Important markets/trend •Great Britain is, and always has been, the premier export market for Champagne Pol Roger, a tradition dating back to the 1860’s.We used to have 4-5 keymarkets...but today there are25 markets that are serious for Pol Roger.͟•Unusually for a Champagne house, as much as 20% of Pol Roger’s sales are vintage Champagne, with a further 10% accounted for by blanc de blancs, rosé and its prestige cuvée, leaving the remaining 70%made upof Brut NV.
- Pol Roger has invested in cellar and facilities improvement, but only really to improve on quality rather than increase quantity. Type of producer (cooperative etc.) or structure Pol Roger is a Négociant-Manipulant.(A person or legal entity that buys grapes, grape must or wine tomake Champagne on their own premises and market it under their own label. All of the big Champagne Houses belong in this category.) Future plans or vision•Since 2000— A new sales strategy •The company has adopted a more expansive sales strategy, with newly appointed importers representing Pol Roger in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Australia. •2001 saw the launch of a new cuvee, "Rich", a demi-sec. In the same year the logo and bottle were redesigned in order to better reflect the elegance and distinction of the champagne. •In2007 the house launched another cuvee, "Pure", an Extra Brut. •In addition to its own 92 hectare vineyard, the house has worked tirelessly to ensure sourcing of the best grapes from growers, in order to maintain its current level of excellence which is recognized worldwide. •From 2001to2011 the winery underwent a complete renovation; an undertaking which ensured that the chef de cave, Dominique Petit, could vinify cuvees of irrefutable consistency and quality. SourcesOCW 4th Edition Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne guide 2016–2017Tom Stevenson, Christies Encyclopedia of Champagne& Sparkling Wine 2013