Thursday, May 9, 2013

Champagne de Castellane in Epernay, France

As our travels continued, our second stop in Epernay was a smaller house, Champagne de Castellane.  We made reservations via email for the four of us prior to our trip.  We again had an English speaking tour guide to show us around.  I think the ticket price was €10 and included one glass of champagne.

This house was founded in 1895 by  Vicomte De Castellane Florens.  The building is listed as a historical monument.  The distinctive tower offers views of the beautiful landscape of the area.  But somehow we missed that and didn't make the climb to the top for the panoramic views.  

This tour included the cellars but also some of the production areas which is unusual.  Most of the houses only share the rustic caves and talk about the traditions of champagne production.  De Castellane is happy to show their stainless steel vats and modern production lines as well.  The day we visited the production line was not in use.  I'd love to see it when it's buzzing with activity.  Combined with their museum, you get the best of both the tradition and the modern.  It was nice to visit one of the more intimate houses.   


I was going to tell you all about the process of making champagne, but I found this great YouTube video that explains it much better than I could.  (Lazy blogger!)   It's only about 6 minutes and very interesting.  The most amazing thing that we learned about is the turning and disgorgement (at about the 4:50 mark).

I had no idea that it was so very detailed and labor intensive.  We saw millions of bottles and to think that they are all hand turned and tipped one by one each day is fascinating.  

What is your favorite champagne?
I'll tell you mine once I've told you about the other two houses that we visited.
The rest of the Champagne District posts:


  1. I think my favorite champagne is the free kind! No but once in New York I was bought a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rose and it was fabulous!

  2. lol I agree about the free kind. We tried to visit Veuve Clicquot but their caves are closed currently. We'll just have to go back! I'd love to go back during the harvest. xoxo

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