The champagne house, based in Reims, was founded in 1734 by champagne merchant Jacques Fourneaux, making it the second oldest after Ruinart. The cellars of the former Saint-Nicaise Abbey date back to the 13th century. The company was bought in 1931 by Pierre-Charles Taittinger (of Austrian origin) together with his brother-in-law. He increased the property through extensive purchases. From 1942 to 1960, François Taittinger, and after his death Claude Taittinger (*1927), managed the company. In 2005, two thirds of the entire company, which besides champagne production also comprised several hotels (including the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris), were sold to the US stock corporation Starwood due to inheritance disputes. Just one year later, however, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger (nephew of Claude Taittinger) bought back the champagne production with the help of a bank consortium for a reported 660 million euros, which he justified not least with his emotional attachment to the company. Since 2006, he has been responsible as managing director. Virginie Taittinger, Claude Taittinger's daughter, also works in the management.