Champagne Dreams

IMG_5232Cava, Champagne, Sparkling wine, we LOVE it all! G & S don’t discriminate!
WE LOVE, love BUBBLES! Which is why one of our “must dos” while in Paris was to visit the Champagne region to learn more about our beloved bubbles!

Verzenay.
Charming hillside village that works together, all of the grapes are grown together without fences.  They believe in peace and unity even today after suffering immensely during the first world war. We stood among the vines for all the heavy hitters (that us Americans are so familiar with) – Louis Roederer (makers of Cristal), Veuve Clicquot, and Moet Chandon (makers of Dom Perignon). Did you know that “Veuve” means widow in French…so don’t just order “veuve” at the bar, the bartenders will laugh. Another interesting fact, many of the heavy hitters are just masters of marketing, which skyrockets the price of champagne. The French do not base their decisions on which bottle to buy based on the marketing, it is all about a personal experience, when they had it first and what memories it brings up. For instance if a bride and groom had a particular brand at their wedding they will drink that brand for the rest of their lives at family events since it brings up special memories. We LOVE that! The most random fact we learned was that the region started using the technique “sexual confusion” to ward off pests rather than using pesticides. Pheromones are chemical signals secreted in minute quantities by insects to communicate with each other. Their survival depends on it, because females use pheromones to indicate when they are ready to mate. Confuse the signals, and you create untold chaos for insects, keeping them away from crops or vines.  Our tour guide found this very interesting and would not stop saying sexual confusion, it was hilarious.

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Jean-Claude Mouzon.
A family owned and run Champagne house where the family works and lives. We learned the in’s and out’s of making champagne and of course got to partake! The owners were so kind and you could see how passionate they were about their champagne. Their lives revolved around champagne, not such a bad job.

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Tattinger.
The last champagne house we visited was a larger, more commercial house Tattinger. The neat thing about Tattinger was the caves under the building. These caves were originally used as chalk mines for the Romans in the early A.D’s and then later used by monks in the 1800’s to store their champagne. Present day Tattinger stores their wine in these caves and shares its rich history with visitors. We weren’t as impressed with their champagne but the history was well worth the visit!

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All in all it was a great day trip and we would highly recommend visiting the area if you are in France!

Santé!

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