The creation from scratch and sheer scale of the Pommery estate has marked and continues to mark the urban environment on Saint-Nicaise Hill. The neo-Tudor style of the estate was a tribute to the company’s British clients, and the Victorian-inspired architecture of the production premises was innovative in defying the architectural traditions of the Champagne Houses.
Following the premature death of her husband in 1858, Jeanne Alexandrine Pommery (1819-1890) assumed full control of the House and commissioned large-scale production premises on Saint-Nicaise Hill during the years 1870-78. The imposing and majestic Carnot cellar complex, now converted into visitor facilities, is home to the Pommery barrel, one of the most spectacular in the world (with a 75,000 litre capacity, equivalent to 100,000 bottles). This is a rare example of production equipment - albeit no longer in use - being designed as a genuine work of art.
The Carnot cellars also provide access to the crayères, a network of ancient chalk quarries, with visitors descending a 120-step staircase to a depth of 30m below ground. Madame Pommery ordered 18km of galleries to be dug to link up the crayères, around 120 in total, with the work lasting eight years. Four bas-relief tableaux were sculpted into the walls by Gustave Navlet between 1882 and 1884; another was added by Jean Barat in 1986 to commemorate the House's 150th anniversary, and Daniel Buren created an additional sculpture in 2007. Nowadays, hugely popular contemporary art exhibitions take place regularly in the galleries and on the estate.
Vranken-Pommery Estate – 5 place du général Gouraud – 51100 Reims
Tel.: +33 3 26 61 62 63