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Taittinger

The champagne house, based in Reims, was founded in 1734 by the champagne merchant Jacques Fourneaux and is the second oldest after Ruinart. The cellars of the former Saint-Nicaise Abbey date from the 13th century. The company was bought in 1931 by Pierre-Charles Taittinger (of Austrian origin) together with his brother-in-law. He enlarged the property through extensive purchases. From 1942 to 1960 François Taittinger, after his death Claude Taittinger (*1927) managed the company. In 2005, two thirds of the entire company, which in addition to champagne production also included several hotels (including the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris), was sold to the US public company Starwood due to inheritance disputes. Just one year later, however, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger (Claude Taittinger's nephew) bought back the champagne production with the help of a banking consortium for the sum of 660 million euros, not least because of his emotional ties to the company. Since 2006 he has been responsible as managing director. Virginie Taittinger, Claude Taittinger's daughter, is also active in the management team.

The company's own vineyards cover 280 hectares of vines, which are planted with the classic champagne varieties Pinot Noir (about half), Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Approximately the same number of grapes are purchased from contract winegrowers, mostly from the Côte des Blancs. Chardonnay-emphasized champagnes are produced, the most popular brands are Brut Réserve, Brut Prestige Rosé and Prélude. The Cuvée de Prestige is called "Comtes de Champagne Blanc", of which there is also a rosé version. In June 2013 Taittinger presented its official champagne for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A total of about 4.5 million bottles of champagne are produced annually, more than half of which are exported. About 15 million bottles are stored or matured in the cellars. The estate includes the Domaine Carneros in California, where sparkling wines (the Cuvée de Prestige is called "Vintage Blanc de Blancs") and also still wines are produced.

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