When my future mother in law was about to turn 50 we wanted to celebrate this event big time.
Celebrations can’t do without a glass of champagne but we decided to take this to the next level.
We went back to the roots of champagne and booked a champagne weekend in the French Champagne-Ardenne
Our champagnequest started in the city of Reims where the Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims rises high above the hilly wine-ranked patchwork countryside.
Champagne House Pommery Vranken
It’s in this magnificent decor that
house – no make that château – Pommery is situated.
Walking up the driveway I was already impressed by the grotesque pink and blue striped buildings and white tower entrance. This is a piece of French grandeur.
Madame Pommery however chose to describe her champagne as : Joyful lightness.
Now that’s something I wanted to taste !
I booked a guided tour and descended into an 18 km underground network with 120 limestone and chalk pits that were dug out in the 1800’s.
The wine produced in those days was mostly sweet and very sugary.
Madame Pommery however had noticed an upcoming trend to more light and ‘dry’ wines during her travels.
She decided to use this trend to create the very first Brut ‘dry’ Champagne that many of us love to this day.
It’s these innovations that quickly turned house Pommery into one of the biggest champagne houses in the region and later in the world.
Innovation however still goes hand in hand with tradition in this champagne house. Each bottle is still kept down in the cellars for at least four years to guarantee top quality and the large bottles are still turned by hand.
The millions of champagne bottles covered in dust ready to be shipped off to all corners of the world increased my curiosity.
If people in Bristol, Ulan Bataar and Miami are drinking this it had to be good.
So at the end of the tour I got to taste the house classic: The Pommery Brut Champaign.
And I’ll have to agree with madame Pommery. She definitively created a piece of joyful lightness… in my head.
I get drunk way too fast.
So taste for yourself and drop me a comment below.
More champagne !
You can find great restaurants serving fresh sea food with champagne around Les Halles Centrales in Reims.
Fancy drinking more champagne or visiting a local vineyard? Drive to Epernay along the route du champagne.
More than champagne !
Sure Reims has more to offer than champagne.
The gothic architecture of the Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral is of great historical value.
It’s the place where Clovis, first christian king of the Franks was baptized in 476, which was one of turning points at the start of the Middle Ages. It’s also the place where Joan of Arc, one of the patron saints of France, brought Charles VII to be crowned after reconquering the city during Hundred years’ War.
You can also visit the Saint Remi Basilica another great gothic architectural piece of art.
Of course you could also have some more champagne.
Tchin Tchin !
Do It Yourself
When to go: Spring to late Summer or during the champagne harvest (September – Oktober)
Cost: Champagne tour in house Pommery: €12 for a half hour tour + 1 glass of Pommery Royal Brut champaign
A glass of champagne is about the same price as a glass of coke, which is about €6.