Louis Roederer is a Champagne house in Reims, best known for its flagship wine, Cristal. The house, established in the late 18th Century, is still family-owned, and produces a house style with equal amounts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a small amount of Pinot Meunier.
Although founded in 1776, the house as we know it today began in 1833, when Louis Roederer took the reins from his uncle and renamed the business for himself. Roederer set out to capture foreign markets, and most famously that of Russia; Roederer became the wine of choice for the Russian royal family. Cristal was created for the notoriously paranoid Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who requested the bottle be clear and flat-bottomed to prevent hidden explosives.
Louis Roederer acquired several grand cru vineyards in Champagne in 1845 to add to his portfolio. This was unusual for the time as the majority of winemakers were buying the grapes rather than cultivating their own. Roederer was better able to understand the intricacies of his vines and grapes and work out how best to exploit them; to Roederer, a great wine was dependant on the soils and the tradition of the house creating it.
Today, the Roederer vineyards encompass around 240 hectares (600 acres) of land in the Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. By 2012, around 25 percent of the vineyards were managed biodynamically.
The Roederer portfolio includes non-vintage and vintage brut, rosé and Blanc de Blancs wines, as well as the vintage Cristal. More recently, there has been collaboration between the house and French designer Phillippe Starck to create a Champagne Brut Nature.