The House began with Joseph Bollinger in 1822 who took up employment with Müller-Ruinart, but later joined forces with Paul Renaudin and the Comte de Villermont to form Renaudin, Bollinger Co in 1829. The Bollinger vineyard estate has 152 hectares of vineyards in the heart of the Champagne area in the grand crus and premiers crus with a style derived from Pinot Noir grapes; grown in the very best grand crus of Ay, Bouzy and Verzenay. Bollinger recently bought Ayala Champagne in 2005.
‘Bollinger? If it is a ‘69, you were expecting me.’ Moonraker, 1979. Champagne Bollinger continues more than 50 years of 007 and the Bollinger / James Bond relationship. Today Bollinger Champagne remains James Bond’s favourite and bears the Royal Warrant. Vintages are produced only in exceptional years from grand and premier cru vineyards.
Elisabeth Bollinger was also passionately involved with the House’s destiny. She was only 42 when she lost her husband at the height of the war; without hesitation and with great dignity she stepped in and threw herself heart and soul into her new role.
During her many visits abroad her natural grace and charm worked wonders. Cheerful and witty, Madame Bollinger was nonetheless a formidable strategist and businesswoman. A perfectionist, she would tolerate nothing short of excellence. She was always ready to innovate, and was the driving force behind the highly original Bollinger R.D. cuvée.
‘I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.
When I have company I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and I drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it, unless I’m thirsty.’
Lily Bollinger, 17th October 1961.