Since the house was founded in 1829 Champagne Bollinger has remained independent -one of only three Champagne Houses of the Grand Marque status to remain so -the others being Pol Roger and Louis Roederer. Since its very start by the German businessman Jacques Bollinger, land owner Athanase de Villermont and winemaker Paul Renaudin, quality has remained paramount. Pinot Noir is by far the dominant grape variety although Bollinger benefits by healthy portions of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Reserve wines are all kept in Magnums -the keystroke of Special Cuvée and Bollinger Rosé. Renowned for its intensity, Bollinger still insists on first fermentation in barrels, a practice that nowadays has almost disappeared from the Champagne region.
While Bollinger sources some of its fruit from long standing partnerships, their own 410 acres are predominantly planted to Grands and Premiers Cru areas exclusively in the Marne Department -all of which are certified "sustainable" of "high environmental value." Pinot Noir represents more than 60% of the total House's vines and gives the backbone to the Bollinger blend as it is powerful with great structure and a long aging capacity -proven by the 700,000 magnums of Grands Crus and Premiers Crus reserve wines masterfully blended and corked with natural corks and aged 5 to 15 years until they surface as "aromatic bombs" as they say.
Hosting a cooperage of their very own Bollinger has a collection of over 3,500 old barrels some well over 100 years old and regularly reconditioned in-house for use in the ancient method of barrel fermentation that develops aromas with great finesse. This micro-oxigenation allows the wine to withstand premature ageing which is essential seeing as Bollinger's Champagnes cellar more than twice as long as required by the Appellation rules - 3 to 4 years for Special Cuvée and Bollinger Rosé and 6 to 10 years for La Grande Année, La Grande Année Rosé, and for Bollinger R.D often much longer.