While men in the US were busy signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Louis Roederer’s uncle was launching one of the most influential Champagne producing houses in the region. Louis inherited it in 1833, and under its new eponymous name, successfully expanded the brand’s international standing. Often called “Champagne of the Tsars or Champagne of the Stars” after Tsar Nicholas II of Russia declared it the official wine supplier to the Imperial Court, Roederer may best be known for its signature premium Champagne, Cristal. The inaugural Prestige Cuvée of Champagne, it was created in 1876 in response to Tsar Alexander II’s request that his personal cuvee be served in transparent glass. Nearly 100 years later, the House introduced Cristal Rosé Cuvée, using old-vine Pinot Noir grapes from Grand Cru vineyards. The perfection these wines carry may be due to the fact that they are aged for six years in Roederer’s cellars, and disgorged for an additional eight months. In tandem with Prestige Cuvée, Roederer, which is still family-run, also produces numerous exquisite vintage and non-vintage Champagne, with all bottles aged in oak barrels. The House yields over three million bottles per annum, with its non-vintage Brut Premier accounting for 80%. Its popularity may stem from it being a combination of at least four vintage wines with blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Complex and assertive, it may best represent the heart and soul of Roederer.