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.