Jacques Joseph Bollinger founded Champagne Bollinger in 1829 with vineyards that have produced Champagne since the 17 th century. Jacques Joseph immediately began building a lucrative export business with dry Champagne that gained a worldwide reputation for its signature style.
The founding Bollinger died in 1888, and his sons—Georges and Joseph—took the reins. They acquired vineyards in the villages of Louvois, Bouzy, and Verzenay all while expanding exports. When Georges died in 1918, his son Jacques, a distinguished French Air Force pilot in WWI, took the helm. Jacques purchased vineyards and cellars, substantially expanding Champagne Bollinger’s capacity.
Jacques died in 1941, in the midst of the German occupation. His wife Lily saw the winery through the difficulties of war, which included nearly catastrophic bombing and severe shortages of fertilizer and fuel. After the war, Champagne Bollinger thrived under her leadership, and Lily became an ambassador for Champagne Bollinger and Champagne in general. Her words on the subject are still widely quoted:
I drink my Champagne 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 drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.”
Since 2008, for the first time in its history, the House placed its future into the care of a Chairman who was not a family member. Their choice fell on Jérôme Philipon, originally from the Champagne region, who had led an impressive career with large industrial groups.
With the Bollinger family's support, Jérôme Philipon has extended his predecessor's program of modernization and investment. With him, the House has continued to preserve its traditional expertise while incorporating the best of new technologies for the future development of the brand, both in terms of quality and commercial growth.
The relationship between Bollinger and the British secret agent goes back to the years when the latter was an exclusively literary hero. Champagne produced by the Aÿ-based House appeared in 1956 in Ian Fleming’s fourth Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever. In 1973, as 007 pursued his adventures on the silver screen, the relationship reached a crucial turning point: Christian Bizot, Bollinger’s Chairman, met Albert R. Broccoli, producer of the James Bond saga.
It was the start of a strong friendship between the two families, which was to seal the legendary association between Her Majesty’s secret agent and the champagne to which Queen Elizabeth awarded her Royal Warrant. For 007 and Bollinger, which has featured in Bond films since Live and Let Die, share a certain number of values: a passion for excellence, a sense of refinement, and consummate elegance.