In the Heartland of Chardonnay

I don’t think that I have disclosed this piece of news yet, drumroll… we are going to Champagne in June! I can barely sit still when thinking about it. We will travel to Paris and Reims on the 2nd of June (or maybe even on the first if I can change my flights) and return on the 6th. The 6th is actually the National day of Sweden, so it is an extra day off. The trip will be short, but that does not matter. We are going to Champagne!!

Today we have actually been sitting down with our travel companions and planing for the trip. So I have spent some hours reading up on where I would like to go. Last time we were in the area, we stayed firmly in Reims (for the Terres & Vins event). This time, I want to venture further. Specifically south, to Côte de Blancs, the heartland of Chardonnay.

Côte des Blancs lies just south of Epernay. It is mostly an eastern-facing slope that is planted 95% with Chardonnay. Thus the name Côte des Blancs. There are four (grand cru) villages located in the area: Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil sur-Oger and Oger. These villages are the home for some of the best champagnes I have ever tasted: Avize to Selosse and Le Mesnil to Krugs Clos du Mesnil. André Jacquart, whos wines we tasted last weekend is also in Le Mesnil; and G.H. Mumms Mumm de Cramant, is made from some of their oldest, pre-Phylloxera, vines located in the village of Cramant. So there is some magic there in Côte des Blancs and I want to experience it.

We also had a look at other areas, but a lot of what I want to see is in close vicinity to Epernay. Thus we have decided to make camp there. I am also hungry to visit Vertus, Oilly, Ay and les Riceys (of course because Olivier Horiot is there). We have made a long list of houses we are interested in, so let see where we can score a tour.

Here is our long-list. Suggestions and experiences are extremely welcome!

  • Krug (Reims)
  • Selosse (Avize)
  • Bollinger (Ay)
  • Agrapart (Avize)
  • Tarlant (Oilly)
  • Deutz (Ay)
  • Christophe Mignon (Festigni)
  • Bereche & Fils (Ludes)
  • Egly-Ouriet (Ambonnay)
  • Laherte & Fils (Epernay)
  • Olivier Horiot (Les Riceys)
  • Pol Roger (Epernay)
  • Varnier Fannier (Avize)
  • Larmandier Bernier (Vertus)
  • Pascal Doquet (Vertus)
  • Benoit Lahaye (Louvois)
  • George Laval (Epernay)

xx Soile

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