Autumn in Champagne

What a glorious day for Wine Lovers!

Our last day in Champagne before we head for the UK was full of memorable moments.

We started with a tour and tasting at one of the most venerable Champagne producers in Reims, Taittinger. During the tour of their historic aging cellars we were able to see the original Gallo-Roman cave from 340 AD, listed as a UNESCO site.

Taittinger has 250 hectares of vineyards from which they produce 6 million bottles a year. There were 2 million aging in the cellars we were visiting and another 24 million in cellars across town. Taittinger by the way is 50% owned by Americans and 90% of their production is exported.

We had a tasting of 2 of their wines: Brut Reserve NV, a blend of the 3 traditional grapes- 40% Chardonnay, 35 Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, it had a dominant citrus aroma; Prelude Grands Crus, a blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Then we made the short trip to G.H. Mumms, my favorite stop in Reims. We were given a VIP tour of their ancient cellars with over 25 km (14 miles) of caves. They have 25 million bottles aging in their cellars.

Mumm was founded in 1860 by the Mumm brothers who came from Germany.It owns 280 hectares of vineyards which accounts for 25% of their production. They buy the rest of the grapes from independent growers.

We had a private tour and tasting in their historic cellars in Reims.

Mumm’s Moulin in Verzenay

Then we drove to Verzenay where we had lunch at their private estate, the Moulin at Verzenay. It was an event to be remembered and it was serendipidy that we were there on World Champagne Day.

Our lunch started with appetizers accompanied by Mumm de Cramant. Our lunch consisted of foie gras, filet of guiney fowl, 2 local cheeses and dessert of sabayon of pineapples. It sounds so much better in French.

Accompanying this divine lunch was Mumm Brut Sélection Grand Cru, Mumm de Verzenay Blanc de Noirs and Mumm Grand Cordon.

No one wanted to leave this divine place but on we go tomorrow to England via the Chunnel and our comparative study of English sparkling wines.

Author Vin Marottoli

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