Founded in Reims in 1776, Louis Roederer is one of the few large champagne House to have remained independent and family-run.
The House was originally the property of Nicolas Schreider until 1833 when his nephew Louis Roederer succeeded and decided to give his name to the business.
Under his influence – and thanks to the help of his brother Eugene and a great entrepreneur as Hugues Kraft – sales rase up from to 700,00 to 100,000 bottles per year and reached the figure of 2,500,000 under the governance of Louis’s son, Louis Roederer II.
In few years, the House became one of the most renowned of the times, also thanks to the introduction and spreading of the famous Cristal champagne on the Russian market.
The story says that in 1876, informed that the Tsar had taken offence at the fact that nothing distinguished the bottles of champagne swathed in white linen on his table from those of ordinary people, the House called up a Flemish master glass worker who designed an untinted crystal bottle with a flat base and so would be born the famous prestige cuvée Cristal, with the highly illustrious bottle, duly adorned with the imperial coat of arms.
Indeed, part of Louis Roederer great success is due to Russian market: under the reign of Nicolas II, even before turning towards European tables – and then towards the world – the House became “the Official supplier to the Imperial Court of Russia”.
Moreover, the House has opted, since its origins, for a “grower strategy”, which consisted of acquiring the best pieces of land in order to gain independence in terms of the very high-quality grapes that is sought-after today.
In the same way, under the governance of founder Louis Roederer, the House acquired or commissioned the building of immense cellars in Boulevard Lundy in Reims, with a view to achieving a higher level of production.
At the time quality and quantity were not seen as incompatible and the notion of rarity, today synonymous with Roederer, was to come later: it was only in 1979 that Jean-Claude Rouzaud, succeeding to Camille Orly-Roederer, decided to implement a chateau policy that, breaking free from the dictates of marketing, favored quality over quantity.
His son, Frédéric Rouzaud, pursued the same logic thanks to having control over all the production: not only he enlarged the vineyard by several hectares (240 hectares now) but he also embarked on the construction of a new fermenting room and a new cellar to accommodate nine million bottles.
These investments have been made in the light of guaranteeing an excellent production and so to keep rendering Roederer wines – Cristal inprimis – so alluring.
Champagne House Louis Roederer is still in the hands of Roederer family. Despite the House is of medium sizes, in the past two decades it has become one of the most important wine firms in the world thanks to a “chateau policy”, consisting of offering wines of the highest quality.
Though the limits imposed by such a quality choice, the family has acquired many properties in Champagne and beyond, altogether making up “the Louis Roederer Group”.
This portfolio of wineries comprises Champagne Deutz; Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger Cellars in California; Porto Adriano Ramos-Pinto; Delas Frères wines from the Rhône Valley; Domaines Ott from Provence; Château de Pez, Château Haut-Beauséjour, and Château Bernadotte in Bordeaux, and Glenelly Winery in South Africa.
The latest acquisition was in 2006 and is one of the top Bordeaux winerie, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. In Bordeaux, the House has also an equal share with the Duclot Group in the Maison Descaves.
ROEDERER owns 240 hectares vineyards planted exclusively in the Premiers and Grand Crus of Cotée des Blancs region, Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne region. Every year the House produces 3.3 million bottles.
The ROEDERER style is found in the balance between finesse and elegance of the chalky terroir and the richness that comes from the maturation and concentration of the grapes.
Cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon – in charge of the blending since 1999, explains that the House creates its style not only with the assemblage but especially with the viticulture, in the vineyard.
The grapes of the 240 hectares property owe their quality to the poor soil clinging to deep chalk bedrock, their slow maturation, the exposed hillsides and the cold, northern hemisphere climate offering little sunshine outside the summer months.
The wines produced from these grapes are full-bodied and rich, yet elegant and well-balanced.