| Épernay, France|| 1857|
Champagne Pommery is a Champagne house located in Reims. The house was founded as Pommery & Greno in 1858 by Alexandre Louis Pommery and Narcisse Greno with the primary business being wool trading. Under the guidance of Alexandre's widow, Louise Pommery, the firm was dedicated to Champagne production and soon became one of the region's largest Champagne brands. Champagne Pommery was the first house to commercialize a brut Champagne in 1874.
Pommery is currently owned by the Vranken-Pommery Monopole Group (located in Reims), which also owns Heidsieck & Co Monopole and Vranken, Château la Gordonne, Domaine Royal de Jarras, and Rozès in their portfolio.
Jeanne Alexandrine Louise Mélin was born March 18, 1819 in Ardennes and married Alexandre Pommery in 1839. Upon Alexandre's death in 1860, Louise Pommery, assumed full control of the business. One of her first decisions was to sell off the wool business, which was struggling, and concentrate on the Champagne wine business.
She purchased 120 limestone and chalk pits, so-called crayères, carved underneath 12 miles of the city of Reims by Roman soldiers during their occupation of Gaul.
Louise commissioned sculptor Gustave Navlet to carve 4 metre long bas-reliefs of Bacchus celebrating wine into the walls, and busts by Leon Joseph Chavaillaud.
These unique cellars allowed her to store and age thousands of bottles in a temperature-controlled environment (a constant 10'C). Many other Champagne houses later followed suit.
Offices and other buildings above the cellars were modeled after the great English country houses. In ode to her most loyal clients, the British, Madame Pommery built a Tudor Elizabethan domain in Reims. She would later change the face of Champagne for her English customers, by making the first ever 'brut' Champagne, with no added sugar.
She was one of the first company directors in France to create retirement and health funds for her employees.
Louise Pommery died on her 71st birthday, in Reims. She was the first woman to receive a French state funeral. 20,000 people gathered in the streets of Reims to honour her great contributions to the city and the Champagne industry. A tribute was given by the French President, who issued a decree changing the name of Chigny, her country home, to Chigny-les-Roses, in ode to her love of roses.