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The History of Bollinger: The House of Bollinger was created in 1829, in Ay, by 3 men: the Count of Villermont, who owned vines on the Montagne de Reims, his son-in-law Jacques Joseph Placide Bollinger, and Paul Renaudin. Jacques Bollinger, great-grandson of the founder, took over in 1918, when the Bollinger style had many followers in France as well as abroad. Madame Bollinger: Dying prematurely in 1941, Jacques left the business to his wife Madame 'Lily' Bollinger. This role was then passed on from Madame Bollinger to her nephews, first, Claude d'Hautefeuille and, today, Christian Bizot, Heirs of the Bollinger savoir faire, who are dedicated to sustaining this very individual style of Bollinger Champagne. Vineyard: The House of Bollinger owns 144 hectares of the finest crus in the heart of the Champagne region and unlike many other Champagne houses, provides over 60% of its grape needs. Only 25 - 30 villages (crus) are rigorously selected for the blends (assemblages) of which a minimum of 24 are classed growths, 10 grand cru and 14 premiers crus. The Wines: The basis of the Bollinger style is 60% Pinot Noir grape for its contribution to vinosity and complexity. 25% Chardonnay is added for a note of elegance and refinement and 15% Meunier to give a touch of freshness and lightness. They demand the finest grapes and use only the 'cuvee': the first pressing of each vintage and sells off the 'tailles': the second pressing to other champagne producers. The House of Bollinger refuses to sacrifice its vision of what a great Champagne should be for the sake of volume, even though the demand for Champagne has grown considerably over the last few years. Bollinger is a reassuring institution and its wines represent traditional values, quality as well as talent.

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