• Day439

    Day 440: Exploring Champagne

    April 30, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌬 8 °C

    Aside from being home to the incredible cathedral, Reims is also the centre of the Champagne region, famous for obvious reasons! The vineyards and manor houses here are also on the world heritage list, so we set off exploring!

    There were a few large manor houses (home to champagne companies) just near us, so we took a few photos and videos before heading about 30 minutes south to the town of Epernay, where a lot of the actual vineyards are located.

    Interested to discover that champagne is officially a blend - they mix up grapes from different vineyards and years before ageing them all in the bottle. It's also fermented a second time while in the bottle, and it's this that creates the bubbles.

    The town was quite cute, and home to the abbey where a monk named Dom Perignon developed the art (though he wasn't the first, contrary to popular belief). Had a good look around the vineyards and the centre of town (centred around Rue de Champagne) before heading back to Reims.

    We'd booked a tasting and tour at the Taittinger champagne house but that wasn't until 3:45, so we spent an hour or so just relaxing in our room. Unfortunately the internet wasn't that great so we had to pick and choose what work we were doing!

    Eventually we went out for our tasting which was great. We got to go on an underground tour of the cellars where their most expensive selections are fermented. They use natural chalk caves common to the area, as it keeps the temperature and humidity consistent year-round. And of course we had a taste which was lovely as well!

    Then back to our room where we spent the rest of the evening.
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    Trish Forrester

    Not a traditional champagne glass?

    Trish Forrester

    Just for decoration?

    Joel Baldwin

    I actually have a feeling the "traditional" champagne flute is quite a modern thing - back in the day they would drink it from shallow martini-style glasses

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