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Luxury Trendsetters: Louis Roederer

Luxury Trendsetters: Louis Roederer
February 22, 2023
Bradley Calleja

In 1776, the United States was established and in that same year, one of the most prominent champagne producers was born.

If you've read any of our wine market coverage, you're probably well-aware of the growth experienced by Champagne in recent years. One of those producers, Louis Roederer, closed the year as the most traded wine by value on Liv-Ex and the third most by volume, a title once only held by established Bordeaux and Burgundy estates.

So how did this acclaimed estate rise to power?

Louis Roederer was born in 1809 in Reims and joined the company at the age of 18. He inherited the business from his uncle in 1833 and decided to expand the company's production to meet the demands of his growing customer base. He began to acquire vineyards in the Champagne region to ensure the quality of the grapes used in his champagne. By the mid-19th century, Louis Roederer had become one of the largest champagne producers in the world.

One of the most significant moments in the history of Louis Roederer came in 1876 when Tsar Alexander II of Russia commissioned the company to create a special champagne for his personal use. The result was the creation of Cristal, a champagne made from the best grapes in the company's vineyards and bottled in a clear crystal bottle.

In 1908, Louis Roederer passed away, and the company was taken over by his nephew Léon Olry-Roederer. Léon continued to expand the company and introduced new champagne brands, including Carte Blanche, Brut Premier, and Rosé Vintage. The company continued to grow, and in the 1920s, it became the official supplier of champagne to the Royal Courts of Sweden and Belgium. During World War II, the champagne industry suffered due to the occupation of France by the Nazis. The Roederer family managed to protect their vineyards and their champagne by hiding them in a secret location in the Ardennes. After the war, the company resumed production and continued to expand its customer base.

In the 1950s, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, the grandson of Léon Olry-Roederer, took over the company. He introduced new technologies to improve the quality of the champagne and modernized the company's production methods. He also expanded the company's vineyards, acquiring new plots of land in the Champagne region.

Fast forward and today, Louis Roederer has become a staple within wine investment portfolio. In 2022, reported two vintages (2008 & 2014) of Cristal were among their top 10 most traded winesCristal closed the year as the top traded wine by value & third by volume. As of the fourth quarter of 2022 and the 2008 vintage was trading more than 105% over its release price while the 2013 vintage was up 102%.

Amazingly, the company is still a family business and is run by the Rouzaud's, with Frédéric Rouzaud, the great-grandson of Louis Roederer, serving as the current CEO.

The history of Louis Roederer is a story of innovation, expansion, and luxury. From its early days as a small champagne house in Reims, to its status as a global brand, Louis Roederer has remained committed to producing the highest quality champagnes using the best grapes from its vineyards in the Champagne region. Its legacy as a symbol of luxury and exclusivity is a testament to the dedication of the Roederer family to the craft of champagne-making.

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