Monday, May 13, 2013

Taittinger Champagne House in Reims

We're back from Portugal and it was fabulous!
I'm editing the photos and hope to post about our trip next week. 

(And don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Spain and Morocco, I'm just getting geared up.
There is so much to write about so that will be an upcoming project.) 

Thank you so much for the supportive comments on my Friday post.
I think a few days in the sun was just what I needed.
I had a good cry one night.  (Mother's Day away from your
mother AND daughter just really, really, really sucks!)

I did have one more crazy, angry dream where I beat up a coworker and had to go to jail! 
(Seriously? What kind of wackadoodle dream is that?)

But last night I dreamed about yummy, fluffy cupcakes.

(They were being withheld from me,
which made me angry but I didn't scream or harm anyone.)

So all in all, I think things are getting better.
I'm sure a dream interpreter would have me committed a field day.

But for now let's forget about my crazy dreams and talk some more about the bubbly stuff.


As we were planning our weekend in the champagne district, we found it a bit challenging to discern the who, what, when and where of all of the houses.  Each one has very different opening times, rates and reservation requirements.  We had contacted about five ahead of time and were able to schedule visits with two of them on Sunday morning in Epernay.   

After Castellane, we were left to wing it for the rest of our visit.  I'd read that visiting two houses in a day is a good goal.  But after finishing up with #2, we realized we definitely had a third visit in us (champagne troopers, we are).  We quickly got on the phone to see if we had any more options.   We called Taittinger and had just enough time to get back to Reims for their last tour of the day. 






The only catch was that the tour was in French.  Three of the four of us do very well with French (I'll let you guess who is the odd one out), and we'd already heard about the process a few times so it really wasn't too much of a problem.  The tour group was much bigger but the caves are fantastic and well worth a visit.

The 4th century Roman chalk quarry, later became the cellars of the Saint Nicaise Abbey.  The abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution, but the vaults and caves below are now the champagne caves of Taittinger.  Be on the lookout out for faces watching you from the walls.  If only they could talk, I'm sure they would tell quite a story.  









In the photo above, you can see just one of the vaults and how deep it is.  This vault holds 100,000 bottles of champagne that have each carefully placed by hand.  In the photo below you see the racks that are used to turn and tilt the bottles each day, again by hand, to gently coax the sediment into the necks of the bottles for disgorgement.   This process takes several months.    Did you watch the video about the process?  Pretty interesting, huh?   




After climbing up from the vaults, it was again time for a tasting.
Great incentive for climbing this spiral staircase, don't you agree?
The price was about €16 and included one glass of champagne. 
Taittinger is one of the very few houses that doesn't require pre-booking. 



I hope you are enjoying this little tour through the Champagne district. 
We have one more stop and then we're done.

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right"
 
Mark Twain


Have you had a glass of Champagne lately?
What was the occasion? 



The rest of the Champagne District posts:
G.H. Mumm

 

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10 comments:

  1. adventuresofalondonkiwiMay 14, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Isn't it fantastic? My Mum & I went to Taittinger. It was our last stop of a 10 day Paris Holiday, and it was fab!

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  2. I recently had a dream where I was sent to jail for talking back to someone, I wonder if we are feeling guilty about something!?

    These caves somehow seem the creepiest yet!

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  3. I tried to Google the whole dream thing and it was stuff about conflict blah, blah. I wanted to it mean something like "you will soon win the lottery." I didn't sleep at all last night! I'm going to my first travel blogging conference next week and I'll be traveling for a week solo. I think I'm just nervous about that. I obviously need to incorporate meditation in my life.
    These caves were definitely the most interesting. Especially the areas that were once part of the abbey. As always, thanks for reading and commenting!!!
    xoxo
    Selena

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  4. Ten days in Paris with my Mom, that sounds wonderful!!! And a stop for a champagne tour has to be the perfect way to end it. My daughter has Paris or Italy on her list for her next visit. I'm so ready to see her!
    I hope you're having a wonderful week!!
    xoxo
    Selena

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  5. I can't remember the last time I had champagne, although I don't drink it often, but we were advised that the best accompaniment for our platter of cheese and meats was a Croatian sparkling wine. We were in Paradox cheese and wine bar in Split, Croatia and it was a good meal!

    Your photos are fabulous, as always. I'm very proud of you for visiting three champagne houses in one day!!

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  6. I want to travel with you. Sigh.

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  7. When's your next trip over to the UK? I'm finding traveling to be very, very addictive!!

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  8. I don't usually drink it either, but it was really a fun trip. I can not wait to read more about you recent trip!! We should get together soon and catch up on everything! xoxo
    Selena

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  9. I don't know, probably not til next Summer :( I will be in Dublin in October though, and we have a bunch of US/Canada trips planned between now and the end of the year (Seattle, Vancouver, DC, Florida, NYC, Quebec, Montreal) so I guess I can't complain ;) It is totally addicting!

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  10. Yup! Let me know when you are free.

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Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from you!