Pol Roger Champagne
Pol Roger is family owned and operated. The house paid homage to one of their most devout followers when they launched one of the great prestige cuvees, Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, in 1984. It continues to be made in a style that Churchill would have embraced and the blend is a closely guarded secret. All of the Pol Roger line-up is fairly amazing, highlighting the true art of blending. Champagne from Pol Roger continues to be riddled entirely by hand. Wines tend to be medium bodied and slightly floral.
Pol Roger Champagne Collection
Dry and Sweet
Pol Roger offers both dry and sweet champagne labels. Their dry champagne is presented first followed by their sweeter champagne.
Pol Roger Dry Styles
Pol Roger Brut Reserve is their house style champagne. Their Pol Roger Pure is a brut nature champagne that is produced with no dosage. The following links provide a review, tasting notes, retail price, and ratings by Champagne 411, Wine Enthusiast, and/or Wine Spectator.
Pol Roger produces three types of vintage brut champagne: basic, rose', and blanc de blancs. Click on a link to find a review, tasting notes, retail price, and ratings by Champagne 411, Wine Enthusiast, and/or Wine Spectator.
- Basic Brut
- Blanc de Blancs
Vintage Prestige Cuvee
Sir Winston Churchill is Pol Roger's prestige cuvee. Click on a year to obtain a review, tasting notes, retail price, and ratings.
Pol Roger Sweeter Styles
Pol Roger's selection includes a demi-sec, Pol Roger Rich, for a sweeter occasion. Our Sweet Champagne webpage provides a list of additional sweet champagne brands.
Pol Roger History
Originally named ‘Roger’, the Pol Roger Champagne House was established in 1849. The name was changed in 1900 to include Pol in the title in honor of the founder, Pol Roger. When Pol was young, his father had contracted an incurable disease and was unable to make living as a notary. Pol was only 18 years old when he made his first sale of champagne. The business began by making champagne for other houses and eventually moved from Aÿ to Epernay in 1851. By 1855 production began to shift from traditional sweeter styles to the brut style that had grown popular with the English. By the time Pol Roger died of pneumonia in 1899, the business was well established and known unofficially by the Pol Roger name. Pol’s two sons, Maurice and George, carried on the business. In 1900, the firm overcame a disaster when the buildings and cellars collapsed, causing a loss of about 1,500,000 bottles of champagne. The brothers’ perseverance and determination enabled the house to overcome the misfortune. That same year the brothers obtained the right to officially append their father’s first name to the house’s title, formally making it Pol-Roger. Changing the name of a business is extremely bureaucratic in France and this was only accomplished through the brothers’ procurement of a presidential decree. It has since dropped the hyphen to become Pol Roger.
In 1912, Maurice was elected as the Mayor of Epernay. The Germans occupied the town for a short time during World War I and Maurice held his ground against German threats to burn down the town and kill him. The citizens that stayed in town during the occupation remained eternally grateful and continued to elect him to mayor until 1935 when he declined the position. The town’s people then made him honorary mayor for life.
Prohibition in the United States hampered champagne sales in general, but Pol Roger continued to slowly expand. In 1927 Maurice’s son, Jacques, joined the firm. Jacques met the young and beautiful Odette Wallace. The two were married in 1933 and Odette Pol-Roger soon became deeply involved in the family business. The onset of the Great Depression, followed by World War II led to difficult times in Champagne. The Germans occupied much of the area. They had developed a taste for champagne and allowed production to continue, but with severe control, heavy taxation and confiscation for personal demand. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that expansion was once again realized, but during this period a friendship was established between Odette Pol-Roger and Winston Churchill. Churchill met Odette in November, 1944 at a dinner at the British Embassy in Paris. The embassy had recently been re-opened after closing during World War II. Later that month Odette sent Churchill a case of Pol Roger 1928 champagne, his favorite. Odette continued to send him a case of Pol Roger every year on his birthday for the rest of his life. Churchill was inspired by Odette and the champagne of Pol Roger, to the point of even naming one of his race horses Odette Pol-Roger, running under the name Pol-Roger. Upon Churchill’s death in 1965, the Pol Roger Champagne House put a black border around the label of all their ‘White Foil’ Brut Reserve that shipped to England. In 1984, Pol Roger launched Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill as a tribute to the great man. Respecting a promise made to the Churchill family prior to launch, the composition has never been revealed, but it is definitely made in a style Sir Winston would appreciate.
Georges Pol-Roger passed away in 1950 and Maurice passed away in 1959 leaving the 3rd and 4th generations to run the company. Improvements in sales were finally being realized in the 1950s after enduring the war and the depression. Maurice’s son, Jacques, and nephew, Guy, took the reins and were later joined by Christian de Billy and Christian Pol-Roger, great-grandsons of Pol Roger. Christian de Billy’s son, Hubert de Billy, joined the firm in 1988. In 1997 the first non-family member, Patrice Noyelle, entered the management team as Chairman of the Board. Patrice retired in 2013 and was followed by Laurent d’Harcourt. Family members continue to remain active in management and in all other aspects of the firm. The firm did not own vineyard land until 1955. They reached 201 acres in 1999 and currently the house owns 219 acres.
More On Pol Roger
Our About Pol Roger report includes general information about the champagne house and their key people.
Contact and Visitor Information
Contact and possible tour information can be found in our Contact Pol Roger report.
The official website is http://www.polroger.com/english/.