Full Day Champagne Tasting Tour

This tour is ideal for wine enthusiasts, restaurateurs, cooks and wine shop owners wanting vineyard visits, explanations, multiple and specialist tastings, purchase advice, and expertise at hand. During the day you will visit 4 or 5 small artisanal wine growers and taste up to 15 to 20 different champagnes. You will learn to appreciate various styles, store and serve, pair with food, how to identify different styles, grape varieties, methods of production, regional differences and discover "your style".

The technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution sped up the modernization of the sparkling wine industry during the mid-18th century. If you are an engineer or scientifically minder you probably love understanding "process" we can adapt this tour for process oriented visits.

You will sample a variety of the 3 main grape varieties grown in the region to produce and possibly some rare grape varieties.

Pinot Noir brings red fruits aromas, body and power to a cuvee blending.
Pinot Meunier is a supple and fruity grape with an intense bouquet, and gives roundness to the wine.
Chardonnay is the variety of finesse with floral marks. It develops quite slowly, which makes a good balance for wine maturation when blended.

Sample itinerary

▸ Tasting at a Pinot Meunier specialist.
▸ Multi Tasting at a family producer in the Marne Valley
▸ Cellar visit and tasting at a Grand Cru boutique producer.
▸ Compare Rose Saignée with a blended Rosé
▸ Taste Champagne produced from pre phylloxera roots

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Questions to ask the Winemaker

Should you try to get the highest yield possible from the grapes or reduce the yield to increase the quality?
What is the correct balance between sugar and acidity?
Which are the best years to create a Vintage and which years are blended to create each year's Brut?
Should the champagne be kept in wooden barrels or steel vats. And if wood, American or French Oak?

Sabrage

On request we can arrange a Sabrage lesson and lunch at the vineyard. Sabrage is a traditional ceremony in which you open a Champagne bottle with an authentic saber. Used for ceremonial occasions by sliding (rather than chopping) along the body of the bottle toward the neck. The force of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck and lip of the bottle just under the wire cage. The cork and collar remain together after separation. Due to the high pressure inside the bottle the cork shoots out at a high velocity but leaves the champagne in the bottle. This technique became popular after the French Revolution as the saber was the weapon of choice of Napoleon's Hussars who would open the Champagne with their sabers to celebrate victories.


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