Once upon a time... Pol Roger

Sep 24, 2020 • 4 mins

The most drinkable address in the world. That’s how Winston Churchill defined the House Pol Roger. The family business with its subtle wines has a unusual story to tell. The sixth Pol Roger generation is preparing to write the next chapter. And it is Hubert de Billy, the fifth with that name, who tells us the tale from the beginning: 1849.

The most drinkable address in the world.

Pol Roger, a visionary entrepreneur

Before he was a knight or a great statesman, when he was a simple, modest connoisseur (he was only ever satisfied by the best), Churchill ordered champagne from Pol Roger. This was in 1906 when he was 32 years old. The archives still have the first bill paid by this illustrious customer. Hubert de Billy, in charge of sales for the champagne house, tells us the family history from his bureau located at 1 avenue Winston Churchill in Épernay. This giant with the cigar permanently clamped between his lips made an impression on this Champenois family which had been interested in wine since 1849.

At that time, Pol Roger had renounced following in his father footsteps, Jean-Baptiste, a notary, coveting instead his mother's family’s interest in wines at a time when one hectare of Pinot or Chardonnay was less expensive than a bare plot of land. An entrepreneur at heart, he began making his own wine, bottling it and selling it to merchants. “A visionary, he also thought about branding, prestige and the house itself “, explains Hubert. “He established himself in Épernay where we are, dug cellars out of the chalk with the aim of reaching the avenue de Champagne, about 300 metres away. And he succeeded!” At the time, the house had 7 kilometers of cellars. In 1850, on the advice of some friends, he created his own brand. He sold his first bottle in England and success took off immediately; Pol Roger champagne was lucky enough to suit English tastes.

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