Best Wineries In Champagne, France
Best Wineries in Champagne, France Champagne is a region located in northeastern France, and is widely known for its production of sparkling wine. It is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world, with
Best Wineries in Champagne, France
Champagne is a region located in northeastern France, and is widely known for its production of sparkling wine. It is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world, with each winery boasting its unique style and character. So, if you are a wine enthusiast and want to embark on a journey to discover some of the best wineries in Champagne, France, then you have come to the right place.
1. Moët & Chandon:
Moët & Chandon is the biggest and most popular winery in Champagne, and one of the most renowned wineries in the world. It was founded in 1743 and produces over 30 million bottles of champagne a year. The winery is known for its grand cru vineyards and its signature champagne, Dom Perignon.
Bollinger is a family-owned winery that has been producing champagne since the 1820s. The winery is famous for its elegant and complex champagnes, with its most popular label being the Bollinger R.D. The winery offers tours and tastings, where visitors can learn about the history and production of champagne.
Ruinart is the oldest Champagne house, founded in 1729. The winery is known for its vineyards in the Côte des Blancs region, where they cultivate Chardonnay grapes. The winery offers guided tours, which take visitors through its historic cellars and explain the production process, from grape to bottle.
Salon is a boutique winery that produces only one champagne, the Salon Blanc de Blancs. The winery uses grapes from its Grand Cru vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger to create a unique champagne, known for its freshness and elegance. The winery offers tours, but reservations need to be made in advance.
Laurent-Perrier is a winery that was founded in 1812 and is known for its diverse range of champagnes, from the light and airy Brut Nature to the rich and full-bodied Grand Siècle. The winery offers tours and tastings, where visitors can learn about the history and philosophy behind each champagne.
6. Veuve Clicquot:
Veuve Clicquot is a winery that was founded in 1772 and is known for its signature champagne, Yellow Label. The winery is also famed for its innovation, being the first to create rosé champagne. Visitors can take tours of the winery and learn about the history and production process of this iconic champagne.
Taittinger is a family-owned winery that produces a range of champagnes, including the elegant and well-balanced Comtes de Champagne. The winery is known for its deep cellars, which date back to the 4th century, and its elegant tasting room. Visitors can take tours that tell the story of the vineyards, cellars and the winemakers that work behind the scenes.
8. G.H. Mumm:
G.H. Mumm is a winery that was founded in 1827 and is known for its bold and rich champagnes, like the Cordon Rouge. The winery is located in the heart of Champagne, where it cultivates grapes from the region\’s best vineyards. Visitors can take tours of the winery\’s historic cellars, and experience a tasting of its personalized vintage champagnes.
Pommery is a family-owned winery that produces champagnes that are refreshing, flavorful and diverse, reflecting the region\’s terroir. The winery is famous for its underground corridors that were dug out of the chalky soil, over 100 feet underground. Visitors can explore these vast cellars while tasting champagne that is unique to Pommery.
10. Nicolas Feuillatte:
Nicolas Feuillatte is a cooperative winery that was founded in 1976, and is now the largest in the Champagne region. The winery produces innovative champagnes that are bold, fruity, and balanced. Visitors can take tours of the winery and understand the history and growth of the Champagne region.
In conclusion, Champagne is a destination that wine lovers from all over the world cannot ignore. So, make sure to add these wineries to your list, and experience the rich history, flavors and aromas of one of the most treasured wines in the world.
Exploring Champagne\’s Vineyards:
The Champagne region is made up of five districts, each with its unique terroir, history, and culture. The five districts are: Cote des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne, Aube, and Cote de Sezanne. Each district produces grapes that contribute to the unique flavors and styles of Champagne\’s wines.
Cote des Blancs:
The Cote des Blancs district is known for its Chardonnay grape variety, which is the basis of blanc de blancs champagne. The district produces some of the most elegant and refined champagnes, with notes of citrus, floral and minerality, which are a testament to the unique chalky soils of the region.
Montagne de Reims:
The Montagne de Reims district is known for its Pinot Noir grape variety, which is used in the production of blanc de noirs, a delicate and fruity champagne with red fruit notes. The region\’s vineyards are located on a hill, which is the ideal location for creating a perfect balance between elegance and power in champagnes.
Vallee de la Marne:
The Vallee de la Marne district is known for growing the Pinot Meunier grape variety, which adds a fruity aroma and a round texture to champagnes. The district supplies a significant amount of grapes to the wineries of Champagne, making it the most extensive growing region in Champagne.
The Aube district is located in the southernmost part of Champagne and is known for producing Pinot Noir grape variety. The district has a warmer climate and a unique soil, which creates a rich and intense flavor in champagnes, with notes of honey and brioche.
Cote de Sezanne:
The Cote de Sezanne district is known for its eastern location, which enables it to get enough sunlight for the grapes to ripen fully. The district has unique soils of clay and limestone, which impart minerality and freshness to champagnes. The grape variety grown here is Chardonnay, which is known for its citrus and floral notes.
Champagne Harvest – The Most Critical Moment:
The harvest in Champagne is a crucial moment in the production of champagne, as the quality of the grapes determines the quality of the wine. The harvest typically begins in August and ends in October, depending on the weather conditions. The grapes are harvested manually, which ensures that only the ripest grapes are picked, and the grape skins don\’t get damaged, causing oxidation of the juice.
The harvested grapes are then transported to the wineries, where they are pressed gently to extract the juice. The juice is stored in stainless steel tanks, and the yeasts are added to the juice for the fermentation process.
After the fermentation process, the wine is bottled with additional yeasts and sugar, which creates the bubbles. The wine is then aged for a certain period, depending on the winery, and the champagne is finally ready for sale.
The timing of the harvest is critical, as the wineries aim to harvest grapes that have the ideal balance of acidity and sugar content. The perfect balance is achieved when the grapes have reached full maturity, with high sugar content and an adequate level of acidity. The wineries hire teams of trained professionals to determine when the grapes are ready to be harvested, making the harvest, one of the most critical and exciting moments in the production of champagne.
The Art of Tasting Champagne:
Tasting champagne is an art that requires careful attention, observation, and analysis of the distinct flavor and aroma. The process of tasting champagne is tricky but is an exciting and enjoyable experience.
Firstly, ensure that the champagne is of the correct temperature, typically between 7-9℃, and then gently pour it into a tall wine glass. Observe the bubbles, the color, and the clarity of the champagne, which will give you an idea of the wine\’s freshness, age, and quality.
Next, swirl the champagne to release its aroma, and take a close sniff of the wine. The aroma should be fruity, floral, or biscuity, depending on the type of champagne.
Finally, taste the champagne, taking note of its initial flavor, its body, and its finish. The initial flavor will either be acidic or sweet, and the body will determine whether the champagne is light or full-bodied. The finish will be the final impression of the wine, and it will determine the length and quality of the champagne.
Sustainability in Champagne:
The Champagne region is increasingly embracing sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment. Wineries are working towards reducing their water usage, managing their waste effectively, and using renewable energy sources.
Wineries are also committing to natural agriculture practices to reduce chemical usage, restore soil fertility, and increase biodiversity. These practices are environmentally friendly and also result in better quality grapes, which produce exceptional champagnes that reflect the region\’s terroir.
Champagne producers are also finding ways to reduce their carbon emissions and are now using eco-friendly packaging, such as recycled glass bottles, and using lighter bottles to reduce their carbon footprint.
In conclusion, the Champagne wineries are taking an active approach to sustainability, ensuring that the region\’s beauties are preserved for future generations while still producing quality champagne that meets the highest standards