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Domaine Pommery — Hill of Saint Nicaise

This Victorian-style estate, at the top of the Hill of Saint-Nicaise in Rheims, was built for Madame Louise Pommery (1819-1890) and remains a Pommery possession to this day.

Domaine Pommery is among the Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Born in the Ardennes, Jeanne Alexandrine Louise Mélin married Louis Pommery with whom she had two children (Louis and Louise).

Louis Pommery was a wool merchant who joined forces with Narcisse Greno in 1856 to diversify his activities. He died in 1858, leaving his 39 year old wife to manage his wealth and legacy.

In 1868, Madame Pommery bought a 50-hectare property on Rheims’ Hill of Saint-Nicaise, a huge expanse of land containing numerous crayères (the extraction of stone for the construction of Rheims in the Gallo-Roman period having left 18km of subterranean galleries).

The first cellar complex, the Carnot cellars, were built in a Tudor/neo-Elizabethan style, replicating an English castle and dungeon, with that combination of red brick and bluish plaster, and castellated towers. The cellars soon captured the attention of visitors, but were to represent only a tiny part of Madame Pommery’s impressive œuvre.

The Pommery cellars were in use before the war of 1870, but not officially opened until 1878, three years after the marriage of Madame Pommery’s daughter Louise to Guy de Polignac. He would take the House’s development one stage further, along with a tradition of patronage that would leave its mark on history. Notable examples include:
-  cultural patronage: the Navlet sculptures in 1882-1884, Glaneuses de Millet gifted in 1882-1884, Foudre Gallé in1903;
-  sports sponsorship: the Pommery Sports Park in the period 1908-1914, the World’s first aero event in 1909; the Pommery Cup from 1909 to 1913.