I am all about celebrations, and for the blog’s first major milestone, the 100th post, I decided to celebrate with champagne!
It’s been so much fun to share all of these experiences, pictures, and thoughts with you. Thank you all for reading, for your lovely comments, and for the incredible support! I absolutely love interacting with you and have really enjoyed getting to meet some of you, too.
Also, a big thank you to my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr followers, and un grand merci to my family, friends, and my Englishman, for your constant support, encouragement, and enthusiasm. The past few months have been so exciting, and I truly appreciate the collaborations and opportunities that this blog has enabled for me. Merci beaucoup !
Cheers to you readers, to my muse Paris, to the past 99 posts, and to many hundreds more!
Today’s post is about a fantastic tour of France’s Champagne region and the city of Reims. The Englishman surprised me with a guided visit for the day! After a 7 a.m. pickup from chez moi, we set off with the amazingly knowledgeable Trong from Paris Champagne Tours and two other couples traveling around Europe. Bilingual Trong provided a lovely continental breakfast for us all. Along the way, he taught us a lot about Paris, the significance of the countryside we were driving through in World War I, and about champagne making. A quick hour and a half later, we arrived in the vineyards.
I loved it! We learned about the types of grapes used, different technologies associated with grape growing, and saw many of the big names’ plots. After our time in the vineyards, we visited a local champagne maker, Jean-Claude Mouzon in Verzenay. There, he and Trong explained the entire production process. We had the luxury of seeing the different machines they use, such as the old-fashioned cork-making machine, as well as the bottles downstairs in their various stages of fermentation. LOVELOVELOVE. It was so interesting, so detail-oriented, and very hands-on. I just kept thinking how lucky I was to be on that tour, hearing about champagne making from the artisan himself, who on top of being extremely skilled was also very kind. Then came the best part – champagne tasting!
His Grand Cru champagne was by far the best I have ever had – and, well, let’s just say I’ve tried a few. His champagne will be served at my wedding. Because of the high quality of his grapes, Mouzon’s is the purest type of champagne. We couldn’t leave without bringing some home with us! We purchased a bottle of Brut Intégral, which we just recently had to celebrate the birth of my niece.
Since it was a Saturday, we got to visit the Reims market before our lunch at one of the city’s best restaurants. The menu was fantastic! Mouthwatering starters, mains of fish and pork, and beautiful tarts and cakes with coffee for dessert, all accompanied by some luscious red and white wines. It is officially in the Top 5 Best Ever Meals. Délicieux!
After the leisurely lunch, we visited the Reims Cathedral. The Chagall stained glass windows inside are delicate, beautiful pieces of art. Trong told us many anecdotes about the Cathedral and taught us more about the city itself. Notre Dame of Paris is small next to this cathedral, which is surprisingly full of light. It is an absolutely gorgeous piece of French history.
We then set off to Taittinger for a tour of the massive wine cellar, where millions of bottles are fermented and stored. There is so much history in those caves, as we learned on the tour. There was also a nice tasting at the end of the tour, which was much appreciated, after hearing them talk about how amazing the champagne was for an hour! 🙂
We ended the day with a quick stop-in at the Pommeroy cellars. We saw the famous plastic sculpture in the front garden, which evidently is a popular wedding reception cocktail location. Inside, of course, was the gigantic upside elephant, as well as the renowned mini car. All of us were sad to leave. Trong did his job well, though; he left us wanting more!
I highly recommend anyone coming to Paris and who is interested in champagne to go on this tour. It’s a gorgeous drive over to a beautiful region of France, plus you get to try the best champagnes in the world and eat a fantastic meal. It’s a day and an experience that I would happily repeat!
Thanks to Tyler from Oui Paris Tours for telling us about this tour, Trong & Paris Champagne Tours for an excellent day, and merci to my Englishman for the absolutely lovely day and experience!