Champagne-Ardenne Things to Do Tips by pedroswift
Champagne-Ardenne Things to Do: 77 reviews and 198 photos
Australian Wine writer and educator, Tyson Stelzer has updated his highly regarded 2011 publication of the same name. He gives tasting notes from the complete range of wines offered by over one hundred Champagne Houses from affordable Non Vintage styles to the rarest of flagship vintages.
The sections on history, geology and geography of the region will increase your knowledge of what makes Champagne such a unique region. Each house has a preamble on its history and philosophy of grape culture and wine making.
There are 4 or 5 pages listing "Best Champagnes of the Year" with cost bracket; rating out of 100 and index page for more info. You could photocopy and take the notes with you when you visit the bottle-shop to buy product...don't forget your credit card.
Extensive Tasting Notes are supplemented with a descriptor of where and when the actual wine was tasted. Wines are rated between 80 and 100.
80 = "Horrid. Less than 1% of wines tasted. You have been warned"
100 = The pinnacle of character, balance, persistence" ...again less than 1% of wines tasted all costing an arm and a leg.
A fascinating read for Champagne lovers everywhere. He dedicates the book to Henry Krug.
The Champagne Guide 2014 - 2015 ISBN 9781742705415 Published in 2013 by Hardie Grant Books
paying homage to champagne
The larger Champagne Houses charge for a guided tour and tasting. The cost depends upon the product consumed (tasted) at the end of the tour.
For example in 2008 we visited Moet and Chandon in Epernay
and a tour finishing with one flute of Brut Imperial cost €13per person.
for one Brut Imperial and one Rose Imperial it was €20 per person - the Grand Vintage Tour ending with 1 flute Grand Vintage 2000 & 1 flute Grand Vintage 2000 Rose was €25
So the tip is :-
if you are a couple, have one person do the first or second option while the 2nd person does the 3rd option. The guided tours are all the same . At the end, as a couple you get to taste 4 different champagnes instead of the 2 if you both paid the same amount.
And besides - The money you save can be spent on a beer!!
Directions: major houses charging for tour depending on product tasted at the finish!!
La Champagne is not just the major champagne houses which are now owned by multinational, mega-companies.
Throughout Champagne there are small houses owned by families who love showing you their product and their wineries.
I always enjoy visiting Cumieres on the Marne nw of Epernay. I have visited two houses there several times. Vadin Plateau (12, rue de la Cooperative) and Laval Louis (309 or 176 rue du Bois des Jots) have wonderful product at the right price. My purchase at V-P in 2006: 2 x Vintage; 2x Blanche Brut, 2x Noire Brut came to 85 euro. Average 14 euro a bottle for Champagne with a bit more fruit driven taste than the austere lines of the big houses. In 2008 and again in 2010 prices were slightly higher but still less than 20euro per bottle. Laval Louis purchased in 2004 about the same price.
Vadin Plateau also run boat cruises in season on the Marne. What better way to soak up the atmosphere Dining & Drinking Champagne on the water!?
Visits: Sunday not a good day to visit without phoning first. Don't forget lunch hour in France. Not polite to visit at lunch -1200 to 1400. Be aware of public holidays.
Note: Our 2008 visit to the area saw average price of the half doz from Vadin Plateau €18
visiting Vadin P. in 2010 - we paid € 91 for 2 btls of vintage; 2 of Rose and 2 of non-vintage brut.
Directions: Both houses are easy to find.
VadenP lat.long: 49º04'22.90"N, 03º55'52.97"E (eastern side of the village on the east-west road thru town.
Other Contact: L-L 03.26.51.61.83
Phone: V-P 03.26.55.23.36
What an attractive sounding name for a village. Any drinker worth his/her salt would want to visit.
Better still, this village is famous for its "Bouzy Rouge". In days of yesteryear the famous product of champagne was red wine : still red wine. Made from Pinot Noir grapes, this wine, because it came from the region, was called "Champagne". It was consumed during the coronation of Kings at Reims, we are told. Anyway, Bouzy has a microclimate suited to the cultivation of Pinot Noir and the product is still sold as red still wine (Bouzy Rouge) as well as being used in the classic sparkling Champagne blend. Also Bouzy Rouge is used by various Champagne Houses to give colour to their Rose style champers.
Visit Bouzy (sse of Reims and ene of Epernay) to taste Champagne at lesser houses but don't forget to ask for a drop of Bouzy Rouge.
Directions: All roads lead to Bouzy: just check your map of Champagne.
Approx lat;long: . 49º04'47.00"N, 04º08'45.00"E
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