The almost 300-year old House of Taittinger dates back to 1734 when wealthy textile merchant Jacques Fourneaux founded its predecessor, Forest-Fourneaux. Tapping the knowledge of local wine making Benedictine monks, Fourneaux was a quick study in how to produce some of the very best in the region. For 200 years, the House continued to produce more sparkling wine than many of its competitors, but the challenges of the early 20th century, including World War I, delivered a negative hit to the region and the industry. Enter Pierre Taittinger. Taittinger was a wine merchant and young officer in the French Army who, while serving during World War I, was transferred to Château de la Marquetterieon the Forest-Fourneaux estate to recover from combat injuries. Vowing to return to buy the 700-acre property if able, he did just that in 1932, relaunching the vineyards under his family’s name. Decades of success followed, and Taittinger became one of Champagne’s leading houses and brands. Twenty years later, it joined Bollinger, Laurent Perrier, Moet &Chandon and Louis Roedereras a member of the Grandes Marques, a syndicate of esteemed Champagne houses. One of Champagne’s largest producers, Taittinger delivers close to 6 million bottles of wine annually. Its top label, the non-vintage Brut Reserve, is known for its freshness and delicacy, with Chardonnay-driven floral, fruity notes. In addition, Taittinger also produces Comtes de Champagne prestige cuvée, using only Chardonnay grapes from grand cru vineyards, and rosé wines in both non-vintage and Comtes de Champagne configurations. On a lighter note, contrary to popular belief, Taittinger, not Bollinger, holds the distinction of being James Bond’s favorite Champagne according to Ian Fleming. (Hollywood’s Bond, however, did, in fact, prefer Bollinger.) Given its charisma and heroic history, it’s no surprise.