The much-lauded Taittinger began life as Champagne Fourneaux in 1734. The Fourneaux family were themselves no slouches, acting for a time as advisors to Veuve Clicquot.
During World War I, cavalry officer Pierre Taittinger spent time near Epernay. He subsequently returned to the region in 1932 to buy the Fourneaux holdings and founded the House of Taittinger, in the process buying up large swathes of valuable vineyard at a time when Depression-ravaged land prices were at rock-bottom.
Relinquishing control to international corporate interests in the mid-2000s, the family have subsequently managed to claw their way back into contention. Today, once again in French hands and headed up by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, the business is quartered in Reims, where they reside above their labyrinthine 4th-Century Roman cellars and remain one of the largest vineyard owners in the region.