Monday, December 31, 2012

Champagne- The Wine of Kings

The "Wine of Kings" has come to  epitomize French sophistication throughout the world. There are other sparkling wines but the only true Champagne is grown and made in the Champagne region of France located 90 minutes northeast of Paris.  Rolling vineyards surround the main Champagne towns-- Reims and Epernay in the Marne department and Troyes in the Aube district,  Champagne is grown in rich limestone soil and comes surprisingly from red grapes-- two thirds Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with the remainder from white Chardonnay grape. 

On a visit of the Champagne region you will most likely tour cellars instead of the vineyards. Champagne houses' cellars are dug deep underground carved into chalk quarries. The wine bottles are kept in kilometers long cool and dark galleries.  Whether visiting the cellars of Mumm, Taittinger, Pommery or Veuve Cliquot in Reims or Moet and Chandon and Mercier in Epernay you will learn about the "Method Champenoise" of producing bubbles which consists of first fermentation, blending with other wines, adding liqueur of triage (sugar, wine and yeast) followed with second fermentation, daily remuage for a year and finally disgorgement. Did you know there are 56 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne!! Finally at the end of the tour you are rewarded with tasting of a cuvee.  Sante!!

tags: champagne, Reims , Epernay

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