The nobleman Joseph-Jacob-Placide Bollinger (1803-1884), born in the Kingdom of Württemberg, joined the Chamapgner company Müller-Ruinart in 1822. Until 1829 he was extremely successful as a sales representative in Germany. This year, he and two partners founded the famous Champagne House in Aÿ near the town of Reims, which at the time was renamed Renaudin-Bollinger. The Count and Admiral Athanase-Louis-Emmanuel de Villermont (1763-1840) was active in the wine trade and brought extensive vineyard ownership. The third was Paul Renaudin, who also previously worked for Müller-Ruinart as a sales agent, but who left the young company a short time later. Since the count did not want to be mentioned by name, the company was henceforth called Bollinger. He called himself now Jacques Bollinger and married in 1837 Louise-Charlotte de Villermont, daughter of the Count. Already from the year 1865 was champagne exported to England and from 1884 the house became the purveyor to Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and awarded the Royal Warrant.
After the founder's death, the sons Joseph and Georges successfully continued the business and acquired additional vineyards Bouzy, Louvois, Tauxieres and Verzenay. In 1918, a grandson of the founder of the same name Jacques Bollinger (1894-1941) took over the management of the company. After his early death, his widow Elisabeth "Lily" Bollinger (1899-1977) took over the business during the German occupation. The Wehrmacht seized not only the building of the company, but also 178,000 bottles of the stock champagne. However, this was still produced despite the difficult circumstances. The legendary Madame then led the fortunes of the house for four decades. Under her leadership, production was doubled. She was on her way to old age by bike in her vineyards.
In 1971 Madame Bollinger transferred the management of the company to her nephew Claude d'Hautefeuille (1913-2000). A year before her death she was awarded by the French state the Order "Ordre National du Merit". Already legendary and often narrated is her witty answer to a reporter's question on which occasions she drinks champagne: I drink it when I am happy, and I drink it even when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone; in company I drink it anyway. Even if I have no appetite, I like to take a glass to me. And of course, when I'm hungry, I reach for him. But otherwise I will not touch it, except when I'm thirsty. (See many more sayings of famous people about wine under Quotes ). From 1978 to 1994, Christian Bizot (1928-2002), the son of Lily Bollinger's younger sister, was the sixth president to lead the company. He introduced the use of a label with sound information on all vintage Bollinger Champagnes. This resulted in an absolute transparency, because now it was recognizable which grape varieties were used and how long the wines were stored. These data are kept top secret in many other homes.
In 1985, Bollinger acquired 40% of the Australian company Petaluma and played a significant role in the development of a sparkling wine cellar in Adelaide. Ghislain de Montgolfier (also a nephew of Lily Bollinger) has been the seventh president since 1994. The company is still family-owned unlike many others. Its own vineyards now cover 152 hectares of vineyards in the best Crus, including in the communities Aÿ. Bouzy and Verzenay. Around 60% are considered Grand Cru and another 30% as Premier Cru, The products of the house are under strictest quality controls based on mainly Pinot noir grapes partly with barrel fermentation (which is otherwise not common with champagne) and very long lees produced. The reserve wines are not stored in large barrels, but sorted by Cru and vintage, corked in single Magnum bottles under light pressure. Only the must of the first pressing (Cuvée) is used. The must of the second pressing (waist) is sold to other winemakers. Only at Chardonnay Sometimes it will be with the best vintages waist recycled. The first fermentation of wines, sorted by Cru, found in (of course French) barriques and stainless steel tanks instead of. Champagne without vintage stored at least three years, vintage champagne at least five to eight years on the yeast.
For particularly good vintages, a vintage champagne called "Grande Année" is produced, which is stored on the lees for at least five years after the second fermentation in the bottle. The "Grande Année Rosé" is added a little quiet red wine from vineyards to Aÿ. The rarest champagne is the Mono blend "Vieilles Vignes Françaises", made from old, ungrafted Pinot Noir vines from one of the phylloxera spared vineyards are produced in small quantities (up to 2,000 bottles per year). After the dégorgement all champagnes have to rest for at least three months before being handed over. Legally protected is the name of the special champagnes contained on the label and Bollinger reserved Récemment dégorgé (RD). Every year around 1.5 million bottles are produced. The products are exported to a total of 80 countries worldwide. Also James Bond 007 loves Champagne from Bollinger.