Email poscard #4 – the end of the vine!
We stopped in Chablis for a lunch and a tasting on our way to Reims. Chablis really is a very quiet and sleepy village but we had a great tasting at Domaine Pinson and met a winemaker who really loves what he does. We tried the village Cbalis, 4 Premier Crus from the north, east south and west of the appellation, and a superb Grand Cru (Le Clos) that won’t be opened for a few years yet!
So Reims is the capital of Champagne and is certainly built on bubbles! Its a cool city with loads of great bars and bistros with a real fun feel about it. In, fact lunch was so much fun we actually missed our chance of a visit to Tattainger! Never mind! We soldiered on to Veuve Cliquot and talk about branding and marketing!! Everything was yellow (I think it’s orange!) and the people working there weren’t all picked for their maths skills! However it was an interesting visit and the deep caves (they own 26km of them!) are very impressive. Unfortunately only a glass of yellow (orange!) label at the end.
The visit to Ruinart the next day was much more about the wine and there were only 6 of us on the tour. One of the oldest champagne houses and they have the deepest caves (crayeres as they are known). The tour was great fun but the tasting was even better. A glass each of non vintage and vintage Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) and Rose (2002 vintage for BdB and 1998 for Rose). This is without doubt my new favourite bubbly tipple… And on offer at Majestic for £30 (reduced from £50) until August 20th!
And now we’re home. 1,600 miles travelled, 14 producers visited, over 100 wines tasted (plus the bottles with meals and glasses consumed in bars!). The highs have been trying wines i never thought i would get the chance ever to drink (‘Ermitge, Clos du Beze, the Cortons) but more than that has been talking to the producers who love what they do are so passionate about their work. It has been an absolutely amazing experience and hope you’ve had some fun following our travels. We look forward to sharing some of the stories, pictures and wine with you soon.