Elisabeth Law de Lauriston-Boubers, AKA Lilly Bollinger, of UK origins, became the wife of Jacques Bollinger (29) grandson of the co-founder of one of the greatest Champagne Houses in the world, by the time she was 24.
However, as life would have it, her husband died in 1941, so by the time she was 42, she took over the House of Bollinger Champagne. And as history and facts have proved, she became a fearless widow who made Champagne what it is today. She is considered to be one of the greatest ladies of Champagne.
The aftermath of World War II seriously affected the entire Europe. Lilly decided that it was time for Champagne Bollinger to be revitalised and to conquer America. New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and even Havana! She succeeded the inevitable: America had fallen in love with “Lilly and her Champagne”! Between you and I, she became “France’s first lady”, despite the fact that the official holder of the title at the time, was non other than…Mrs Charles de Gaulle!
With elegance and determination, she decided to launch Bollinger R.D. and Vielles Vignes Francaises Champagnes. Both extraordinary projects that set Bollinger House apart from the rest!
Beyond her regular “market visits”, she was known for her cycling rounds around the vineyards she so deeply appreciated, caressed and adored. Her bike can still be found in the in the house of Bollinger.
She was without a doubt a huge fashion icon, with her very definite style, her sleek, chic suit jackets and elegant dresses. And just as every other proper fashion icon, following a “less-is-more” attitude, she never abandoned her pearl necklace!
A “Queen” with a strong, feminine, feisty side she carried Bollinger House to modernity, with great respect to its heritage and values! When asked by a journalist from London Daily Mail, in 1961, “When do you drink Champagne?” she gave the following response which perfectly encapsulated her personality:
“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty…”
Madame Bollinger died on February 22nd 1977, leaving behind a huge heritage for both Bollinger House and the Champagne history. She is remembered to be a fierce woman of great capability, who dealt graciously and delicately with the life she was given. A woman of substance and for sure, a woman of empowerment and influence. A woman to remember. Cheers to you Lily Bollinger!
See you next week!
Until then.. Strike for a glass half full !