POL PO­SI­TION

Singapore Tatler Regional Best Restaurants - - Features - Text By Suzanne Brock­le­hurst

As the first choice of Cham­pagne for Win­ston Churchill and still held in high re­gard by the Bri­tish monar­chy, Pol Roger re­tains its high-stand­ing amongst Cham­pagne lovers across the globe. Es­tab­lished in 1849, the house of Pol Roger Cham­pagne is nei­ther one of the big­gest nor old­est pro­duc­ers in the re­gion. Pro­duc­ing around 1.7 mil­lion bot­tles of Cham­pagne per an­num and still in­de­pen­dently owned, Pol Roger is one of the smaller houses. Nonethe­less, amongst the most dis­cern­ing Cham­pagne lovers, the name Pol Roger holds im­mense grav­i­tas.

The Roger fam­ily lived in the small Marne Val­ley town of Ay, which lies just north­east of Eper­nay, in the heart of the Cham­pagne re­gion. Born on Christ­mas Eve in 1831, Pol Roger was one of only three chil­dren to sur­vive child­hood from a fam­ily of six. Pol’s fa­ther was an in­flu­en­tial ‘no­taire’ in the le­gal pro­fes­sion and was likely to have of­fered his ser­vices to many of the wine pro­duc­ing fam­i­lies in the en­vi­rons dur­ing this era of pros­per­ity post French Revo­lu­tion when Cham­pagne pro­duc­tion rose from 300,000 bot­tles in the 1790s to three mil­lion bot­tles an­nu­ally by 1830. Pol’s mother and fam­ily had sub­stan­tial vine­yard hold­ings in Ay as well as Mareuil-sur-Ay and Cu­mieres. With his fa­ther’s busi­ness con­nec­tions and his mother’s fam­ily vine­yards, plus fi­nan­cial sup­port from his fam­ily, Pol de­cided to set up his own Cham­pagne ‘ne­go­ciant’ busi­ness at just 18 years of age.

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