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Top Champagne House Enters New Zealand Market

Top Champagne House Enters New Zealand Market

Champagne boss in Christchurch for "One Night Only!"

One of France's most outstanding Champagne houses is launching its product in New Zealand - a move that comes amid much acclaim.

The Pommery range of Champagnes is being officially launched on Thursday 23 October by the company's Regional Sales Director, Olivier Neraud, who is flying in from France for the occasion.

The Pommery range, which consists of six styles of Champagne, has already received a host of praise in New Zealand. The Pommery Brut Rose was rated as the top Champagne in the November 2003 Cuisine Magazine, with the Pommery Brut Royal coming in at number seven on the Top 10 list.

The Pommery Brut Millesime Grand Cru 1996 won Cuisine's Top Wine Award in the same issue, with the magazine saying "Champagne doesn't get much better than this". The 1996 Grand Cru also won a gold medal and trophy in the Liquorland Top 100.

"These results just demonstrate what a top quality, elegant Champagne this range is," says Paul Treacher, General Manager of Orlando Wyndham New Zealand, the exclusive distributors of the Pommery range.

Founded in 1836, the House of Pommery created the first Champagne "brut", Pommery Nature 1874. This introduction changed the taste of the period and marked the creation of the contemporary Champagne style.

"Pommery has continued with that contemporary style. This latest Pommery range has a refreshing, new-age, modern charm while still exhibiting the best of the traditional Champagne styles and tastes," says Paul Treacher.

Pommery is available in over 80 countries and is ranked among the top three most well-known Champagnes in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Japan, but in recent times has been hard to find in New Zealand.

"We are delighted to be bringing this Champagne to New Zealand, not just because of its outstanding quality and style, but also because it's what Kiwis are crying out for," says Paul Treacher.

Orlando Wyndham will also be distributing Champagne Heidsieck Monopole, another highly acclaimed House founded in 1785.

Background The House of Pommery was founded in 1836 by Narcisse Greno with Louis Alexandre Pommery joining him in 1856. When Louis died two years later, Madame Veuve Pommery took over.

Armed with her lively personality and keen business sense, Madame Pommery introduced her own unique style and brand to the business.

Right from the outset, she set her sights on international markets. She hired an export manager and Pommery successfully extended its business into England, Russia and the United States.

During her travels in England, where she opened an agency in 1861, Madame Pommery became very fond of the Victorian Gothic style of architecture. It has been said that the amazing series of buildings (including an Elizabethan style caste in the heart of Reims) that house Pommery today were built as a compliment to her British customers, as well as being the image of modernity and extravagance of Pommery Champagne.

Never at a loss for new ideas, Madame Pommery launched what must have been the first direct marketing campaign by personally signing 4,000 brochures targeted at the city of Brussels. She also created the first pension and "social security" fund for her employees.

In 1879 Madame Pommery's daughter married Prince Guy de Polignac, one of the oldest noble families in France. The Polignac's owned Pommery until 1968, when the company first appeared on the Stock Exchange in Paris. But the legacy of the Polignac's long association with Pommery is marked by the continued presence of Alain de Polignac - Pommery's current winemaker.

There are 300 hectares of Pommery vineyards. The House of Pommery also boasts 18 kilometres of cellars and gallo-roman crayeres, where 24 million bottles of champagne lie 30 metres underground, at a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.

The winemaking philosophy of Alain de Polignac is incisive and as clean cut as the taste of the champagnes themselves. He enters into minute detail to achieve the pure taste he wants.

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