Pol Roger was just nineteen when he founded his estate in 1849. Still a family-run enterprise, fifth generation Hubert de Billy is one of the descendants who manage the House today. With 89-hectares of vineyards supplying half of their grape requirements and illustrious premises containing immaculate facilities including pristinely polished stainless-steel tanks. Today they own 92 hectares of vineyards and its cellars in Epernay, just off the Avenue de Champagne run for 7.5 kms, 34 metres below the ground at a constant 9 Celsius.
Remarkably, a small team of less than ten complete everything in the cellar by hand and Pol Roger boast four of the region’s remaining fifteen riddlers, who impressively turn over 60,000 bottles a day. Indeed, it is this style and their respect for tradition that initiated Sir Winston Churchill’s lifelong attachment to Pol Roger, who famously insisted: “In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it.” Today, their prestige cuvée is named in honour of the great man.
Sir Winston Churchill’s relationship with Pol Roger dates back to 1945 when, during a luncheon given by the British ambassador to France after the liberation of Paris, Churchill met the charming and captivating Odette Pol-Roger. A friendship began which, indulged by his wife Clementine, lasted until his death in 1965. Each year on his birthday, Odette would send Churchill a case of vintage champagne. So close was his relationship with the family that upon his death, Pol Roger put black-bordered labels on all of their bottles destined for the UK. In 1975, Pol Roger went one step further and named their prestige cuvée after him, producing it in the robust and mature style that he liked so much.