Pommery is more than a champagne house… From its Victorian style architecture, this huge ancestral Reims domain has more surprises for you in its 55-hectare estate. Indeed, in a Champagne appellation counting 319 villages and only 100 of them hold a Grand Cru vintage, you have to know that 70% of sales are concentrated between October and the end of year celebrations, when Pommery must release one million bottles per week during this period out of the 18 million produced each year.
While preparing your visit, you have to be ready for these cellars and its art exhibitions, the Villa Demoiselle and its Art Nouveau collection, the Clos Pompadour, unique in this wide Champagne region, and the winery. In order to find out more about their vision of Champagne, some Master Classes are proposed to give you the keys to understand their own Champagnes.
In addition to this superb ancestral estate, devoted to Champagne, including the Villa Demoiselle, and its largest Art Nouveau collection in the region, the Maison Vranken-Pommery has set itself a dual cultural and artistic objective to satisfy its 150,000 visitors.
At present, the atmosphere is of an animal and textile mood thanks in particular to the talent and the so British spirit of the artist Stephen Wilks, who devotes most of his inspiration to the nonchalance of the donkey. Thus, his articulated sculptures, mostly designed in Berlin, representing this animal in all textile forms, rest, for some slouch, on different types of plinths. Like communication art objects, according to the artist‘s wish, these donkeys are supposed to convey all types of messages and thus be able to facilitate exchanges, because of their flexible structure.
Not far from the majestic restaurant called Le Réfectoire, naturally because of its location in the place of the old refectory, the establishment can accommodate 50 people inside and 50 others outside on a flowered terrace. The chef, Philippe Moret, tends here to offer guide us into the authentic culinary history of French cuisine, while proposing the most symbolic dishes of this illustrious gastronomy and in the mean time, reinventing dishes that sometimes may find their origin deep back in time.
From the illustrious Apicius duck, passing by the Louis XVI’s pig’s trotters, or the Poule-au-Pot of the time of Henri IV and without forgetting the Auguste Escoffier’s passion for Melba, many historical moments have been associated with a specific dish. Take the time to explore the real circumstances why and how chicken was served to Napoleon at the Battle of Marengo, this dish has then remained in our memories and tables.
The occasion to taste the Pommery spirit, whose first Champagne Brut was successfully launched by Madame Pommery, within the Pommery Nature 1874. It was the departure of this tradition to offer an authentic personality to their Champagnes, different from former sweet wines.
At the end of this Happy Gallery stands the Cellier Pompadour, where you could explore the new Blooming exhibition. In a Eiffel-type hall, admire this selection of artworks, settled to celebrate the blossoming of nature and men, by bringing together 61 artists from various periods (either specialized in painting, ceramics, drawing and figurative photography). All gathered under the curatorship of the Reims Fine Arts Museum, the director of the Pommery House aka Nathalie Vranken and the Beaux-Arts Magazine editor, Fabrice Bousteau.
In total, you will discover a selection of around a hundred artworks, highlighted in an ingenious scenography by the Greek scenography designer Lef Kazaouka. A dialogue conceived as an Ikebana, this Japanese concept also known as the name of Kadō, since “the way of flowers” or “the art of bringing flowers to life” that is to say this art of floral composition, starring spiritual and aesthetic virtues.
Thus, Blooming is an extraordinary garden where Paul Gauguin, Camille Corot, Henri Fantin-Latour mix their petals and their colors with those of Keith Tyson, Sophie Calle, Barthelemy Toguo, Pierre and Gilles or the imaginary jungles imagined by Pierre Seinturier without forgetting the hallucinogen butterflies by Jean-François Fourtou.
If you feel getting deeper underground, take part into the Experience Pommery and explore the multiple surprises hidden in and around in these Gallo-Roman chalky cellars. A unique historical site in Reims, registered as a UNESCO heritage site, which contains no less than 110 galleries, decorated with antique sculptures directly stuck into the rock, colored signals and since recently, numerous artworks of international contemporary artists.
At last, you should complete your Pommery tour, with the visit of the Villa Demoiselle. A real temple of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, built between 1904 and 1908, but fully renovated from 2004 with skilled craftsmen, under the supervision of Paul-François Vranken, founder of this Pommery-Vranken Champagne.