Champagne Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. The firm is distinguished for its extensive vineyard holdings of 752 acres, including prestigious Grand Cru vineyards in the C?te des Blancs and Montagne de Reims regions. Unlike most large houses, Champagne Taittinger relies primarily on estate grapes for its portfolio of Champagnes. Also unique are the higher proportion of Chardonnay in its wines that gives Taittinger its signature style, and the time devoted to aging the wines before release?most often greatly exceeding the legal requirement, in a practice that also has become a Taittinger hallmark.Taittinger came into being in 1930 when founder Pierre Taittinger's acquired the venerable Champagne firm of Forest-Fourneaux, founded in 1734 and the third oldest Champagne house in existence at the time. His philosophy proved him to be a visionary well ahead of his time. An accomplished and respected gastronome, he was among those who, during the interwar years, foresaw changing public preferences in cuisine away from the complex and often heavy traditional preparations that had long dominated the classic culinary arts. The evolution he set in motion centered on two concepts: lightness and naturalness. He wagered the market would turn away from heavily dosed, sweet Champagnes in favor of natural, elegant wines expressive of their origin, just as it would reject the affront of dense, cloying sauces for pristine foodsPierre?s son, Fran?ois Taittinger, set the standard for lightness and delicacy that was to become the hallmark of the Taittinger style. He was responsible for building and shaping the vineyard, allowing Taittinger to be self-supplying and to distinguish itself with the Chardonnay grape. Indeed, Taittinger has 37% Chardonnay planted in its vineyards, compared to an average in Champagne of only 27%. With his legendary master blender, Roger L?nique, Fran?ois Taittinger set most exacting criteria for the quality of Taittinger?s wines. He used only fine, old Champagnes in the dosage rather than brandies or fortified wines. He restricted production exclusively to fully dry, brut Champagnes requiring flawless wines of the highest quality obtained solely from the juice from the delicate first pressing of the fruit. He ultimately attained the epitome of delicacy and elegance he desired in his cuv?es through the proportionately higher use of Chardonnay, the most costly of the champenois grapes.Today, Champagne Taittinger is run by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, the grandson of the founder.