I cannot believe that we have lived in Champagne for a week already…our days are busy and filled with incredibly wonderful people.
David had to drive the rental car back to Lisbon on Friday so Mackenzie and I settled in and bopped around to a few villages to check out the annual Champagne Fête. For 10 Euro, I received a souvenir champagne glass, a passport of sorts with a map of village destinations and activities, a carry bag, a pass for the bus that drove the festival goers to and from villages and two complimentary tastes of wine. Yes please.
We visited Moussy, where Mackenzie will be going to school this September and then headed up the hill to our home village of Chavot. The main gathering point of Chavot was at the Cooperative that has their own label, Champagne Chavost. I enjoyed the ‘Rosé de Blanche’, ‘Terroir’ and ‘Espirt de Blancs’. And, I just happen to live down the lane from two brothers who work at the Cooperative, Alain and José Tissier. These two really took Mackenzie and I under their wing during the Fête, complete with a personal tour of the cellars, and have gone above and beyond to make our family feel welcome…more to come on these fantastic people in the weeks to come…
On Saturday, we visited Cramant, a Côte des Blancs village specializing in Chardonnay. We were there early to sign up for a horse and carriage ride for Mackenzie, but at 33 degrees, the horses were not set to arrive until later in the afternoon. I met the delightful Maureen who has offered to take me to the champagne house she is doing some intern marketing for next week…stay tuned!
Truth be told, I haven’t brought my tasting notebook around just yet – I am seriously just taking it all in. Everything tastes fantastic. Period.
Alain, our neighbour, took us today to Chalon-en-Champagne to get our passports stamped to say that we have arrived but it turned out that we needed instead to go to Reims. It was supposed to be a quick trip and became 3 hours out of Alain’s day, but he did it all with a smile – he is the best type of neighbour. For example, yesterday, he and his wife Fabienne took me to the local mega shopping store to show me around and get me oriented. And, the day before, they had us over to their home for an impromptu dinner that included three bottles of Champagne Chavost. Dinner was beef over an open fire BBQ, perfectly done roast potatoes and juicy cantaloupe salad. Even our dogs were invited! I mean, come on! Trés gentil.
Dave and I took Mackenzie up in the Avenue de Champagne balloon for a 15 minute outstanding view of where we now call home. It was about 32 Euro and included a glass of champagne to sip on as you floated high up over the city of Épernay – I loved every second of it.
Champagne feels pretty incredible to me so far…the wine is fantastic but the people are really making this beautiful place sparkle.