Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage Champagne.
Taittinger is a family owned Champagne house founded in 1734 and based in Reims. The Taittinger family operated the house during the wars in Europe until 2005 when it was sold in by the Taittinger family to the U.S. hotel group Starwood. This was not a positive move for the house and after just one year the Crédit Agricole, in collaboration with Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, bought the business back to family control. Today Taittinger has a vineyard area of 290 ha. Once again in family hands it continues to build upon its reputation for producing fine Champagne n most notably with its two most famous Champagnes the prestige cuvée Comtes de Champagne (Blanc de Blancs) and Comtes de Champagne Rosé