Louis Roederer is one of the largest family-owned and run Champagne houses—and one of the oldest. Because they’ve been purchasing land for nearly 250 years, they’ve amassed valuable land all over Champagne; they are able to pick and choose which parcel goes into which cuvée, taking into account the specifics of each plot.Founded in 1776, by the 19th century Louis Roederer was named the official wine supplier to the Russian court, by Tsar Nicholas II. They were among the first major Champagne houses to produce a tête de cuvée—the famed Cristal was first released in 1945.These days, Roederer is acclaimed for their rigorous standards in farming—with nearly a third of their 590 acres farmed biodynamically, they are the largest biodynamic grower in Champagne. Nearly every cuvée they produce is made from estate fruit; the one exception is the Brut Premier, which includes roughly 20% bought fruit, purchased from farmers with whom they have long term contracts.
Champagne boasts some of the world’s greatest luxury brands with Krug, Cristal and, of course, Dom Perignon. But it’s also home to hundreds of small dynamic producers—farmers who grow their own grapes (often organically) and make (often with natural methods) tiny amounts of pure and absolutely delicious wine that reflect the individual personalities of their villages and terroirs. Toast with these wines, for sure. But also treat them like the great wines they are: taste, drink, explore!