Champagne Bollinger was established in 1829 and remains independently owned and run. The shape of the family business still contains today and each of the Bollinger cuvees is a careful assembly of the very finest ingredients by the talented, passionate team, in accordance with the House’s unique Charter of Ethics and Quality, created by Christian Bizot in 1992.
Each member of the team dedicates their lives to the production of the select range of distinctive Bollinger Champagne. The philosophy of the house over the years has been to stay true to itself and its vines.
Bollinger dedicates year-round effort to working its 163 hectares of highest quality vineyard sites to ensure the very best, healthy grapes are harvested.
Exclusive ownership of vineyards enables Bollinger to supply the majority of their grapes themselves – a rare quality among Champagne houses. Throughout the winemaking process the utmost respect for the quality of the grapes is maintained.
The House of Bollinger
Bollinger is an iconic brand, chosen by those who value the determined pursuit of quality. But why does it inspire such devotion, and what is the secret of its distinctive taste and aroma?
Bollinger is renowned for the consistency of its style: for the fact that a bottle of Bollinger champagne can be relied upon for the quality of its flavour, no matter what its year.
This maintenance of standard is born of a passionate refusal to compromise on ingredients or craftsmanship. From the moment the first flower buds, Bollinger’s single-minded dedication to the pursuit of quality is unwavering.
Only the Finest Grapes
The acres of vines owned solely by the House – nurtured over generations – provide 60% of the grapes needed each year. This is of critical importance in maintaining the Bollinger consistency and style.
Bollinger selects – with precise care and attention – grapes that primarily (80% in fact) qualify for Grand, or even Premier, Cru status.
Only the First Pressing
After harvest, Bollinger use only the first pressing (the cuvée), refusing the second presse (or tailles) in order to achieve the highest possible quality.
Only Mature Oak Barrels
Champagne Bollinger is fermented in mature (never new) oak barrels. ‘Vinification under wood’ is a costly technique that has been dropped by the majority of houses in the Champagne area. But for the House of Bollinger it is an essential part of the process that allows gradual oxidation of the wine, and guarantees stability of the champagne – ensuring excellence and a longer life.
The Luxury of Time
Bollinger leave their champagnes to mature for longer because the House knows that patience is the essential ingredient when it comes to allowing the wine’s personality to develop.
Bollinger allows three years for Special Cuvée and Rosé and a minimum of five years for La Grande Année and eight or more years for R.D. At every phase Bollinger considers the make-up of the wine, but it is this prolonged time in the cellars that allows for the perfect development of Bollinger’s distinctive, complex taste and aroma.
After ageing, the sediment, known as the lees, that has gathered in the wine is removed – a process known as disgorgement. Following this – to maintain the balance and flavour of the champagne – the bottle is topped up with a secret combination of sugar and reserve wines, the dosage, that have been kept in magnum by Bollinger for between 5 to 10 years, and often more. This blending of the perfect style is an art: a cherished skill passed down over the years and jealously guarded from the world.
Finally, each wine rests for another three months in the cellars, to assimilate the dosage and to reach perfect equilibrium.