Last day in France - Aurevoir
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
83Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
La Forge de Saint Marie
Facts about the Champagne/Taittinger:
- Approx 3 million bottles are resting in this cellar, another 19 million in their other more modern cellar. These are all normal size bottles either, see pic!
- Champagne is made in the bottle, as opposed to other wines, beers and spirits
- The final stage is to rotate the bottle and tip it upside down to get the sediment to the neck where it is frozen and ejected using the Champagnes own gas. The rotating stage takes a few weeks, bottles are rotated by hand each day during this stage. This process is done by machines in the new Cellar.
- Production of Champagne is done close to the Vineyards, to achieve the best clarity and avoid the grapes crushing during transit and discolouring the wine.
- Most Champagne is made from a few years of harvest, hence why there is no year on the bottle.
- Taittinger’s prestige Champagne is made from a single year of harvest, hence it is not made every year but only if the seasons harvest is of the best quality.
- The Champagne district has strict rules set, one is that all grapes must be picked by hand and not by machines.
- Tasting done by family owners, this would be quite skillful, as they are trying to get the same final taste in each bottle, however the grapes change from season to season. Another tasting challenge, at the tasting stage the product is not carbonated and will further sweeten in the bottle at the final fermentation stage
After buying up big (Champagne for the trip and to bring back home for a souvenir - not a gift!), we also visited another 'Notre Dame’ Cathedral. The brochure mentioned that construction started in 1211, took 100 years. Part burnt down, got rebuilt. Got bombed in WW2, and also part got torn down during the Revolution. So its had a hard life, its still being rebuilt today - the outside looks worse for wear, but inside you wouldn’t know apart from some scaffolding in the corner.
Also visited a car museum. Brochure sounded good. The lady at the ticket box looked surprised to see us, and asked us how we found the museum. (Using GPS, duh!). 1.5 hrs later, we did not see another person in the museum and understood why she was surprised. I enjoyed myself and took 100 photos, a few very old firetrucks were of interest. Kel slept on a Bench and looked for a way to speed up time.
Traveled for about 1.5 hrs and found another beautiful French caravan park. This one has a lake full of trout – but you need a Rod License to fish! Had tea at the caravan park Restaurant, and noticed Escargot (snails) on the menu, available by the half or full dozen
Would love to see some Tour de France, but our route has not cross paths thus far, and at the moment the Tour is on the Southern border coming back up for the finish line in Paris. I don’t think we’ll see the Lycra this trip - actually we've seen Lycra on the roads every day, too much! Off to Switzerland tomorrow.