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Champagne Day

Day #1 
 
La Maison De Rhodes
Devaux
Richardot
Du Cote Des Renoir
Charles-Collin
Chassenay d'Arce
Dumont
Cellier Saint Pierre - In the heart of Troyes
 
23rd October 2014
 
Almost after 8 hours of late afternoon drive from Bordeaux to Troyes, we all four of us reached the valley of bubbles around 9:30 ish in the night, pretty excited to discover the town by night and the same time the architecture reminds of beautiful Alsace. After walking around for 30 minutes we settle for Italian dinner at Pizzeria Giusepino "Chez Pino" and simply chosen 4 fromage. I highly recommend this place if you looking for thin crust Italian pizza, book in advance else be prepare to wait minimum 20 to 30 minutes, the place is usually packed.
 
                                                                                                                                       24th October 2014
 
October 24 has been designated international Champagne Day, and use the hashtag #champagneday 5th Annual
 
Next Day our morning kicked with Bio Breakfast at La Maison De Rhodes 
 
1kl 
 
The 15th century building, located around a medieval courtyard, was entirely dismantled, restored and then reconstructed. Situated in the historical centre of the town of Troyes.
 
Hotel Owner: Thierry CARCASSIN
Hotel closed: January 
 
Beautifully restored houses turned hotel in the very center of Troyes
You’ll find the hotel on a narrow cobbled street, and will undoubtedly be charmed by its medieval architecture.  The hotel is located in the center of town, with easy access to restaurants, cafes, and attractions. Double rooms start at €185,00 per night.
 
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La Maison de Rhodes***** will take you back a few centuries
 
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The unique and well-preserved architecture. Completely restored, the foundations date from the 12th century.
 
Our first stop: Champagne Devaux 
 
In Bar-sur-Seine, in the heart of the Champagne region, in the Côte des Bar.
 
 4kl
 
How to get here: follow the map/directions
 
October, season of autumn probably is one of the beautiful season, perfect calendar time if you want to visit Champagne region, yet not too cold.
 
5kl
 
  6kl
 
Blind Tasting: Rosé was truly difficult to judge.
 
D Millésime: 50% Pinot Noir & 50% Chardonnay (strictly depending on vintage year)
 
Vinification: Minimum 7 years in cave. BRUT - Dosage: ± 6g/l.  Another conservation from 6 to 9 months in cave
 
Aromas: peach, citrus, almond, hazelnut
 
Food Pairing: cream coated with crusty jelly, shrimps on toppings, peer, Coriander leaf for dressing.
 
7kl
 
Ultra D: 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay (strictly depending on vintage year)
 
Vinification: Minimum 5 years in cave. EXTRA BRUT - Dosage: 2g/l.  
Another conservation from 6 to 9 months in cave.
 
Aromas: dry fruits, spices 
 
Food Pairing: seafood #scallops in France known as coquille saint jacques, dressed with tiny diced carrot and #chives, in France commonly known as ciboulette, mostly served with seafood, fish
 
 8kl
 
D Rosé: 50% Pinot Noir & 50% Chardonnay (strictly depending on vintage year)
 
Vinification: Minimum 5 years in cave. BRUT - Dosage: ± 8g/l.  Another conservation from 6 to 9 months in cave
 
Aromas: red fruits, red berries, apricot, Liquorice, or licorice, In France known as réglisse
 
Food Pairing: Lobster, in France we call it #omar, all soaked in champagne, and dressed with strawberry. 
 
9kl
 
Cuvée D  60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay (strictly depending on vintage year)
 
Vinification: Minimum 5 years in cave. BRUT - Dosage: ± 8g/l.  Another conservation from 6 to 9 months in cave
 
Aromas: café, vanilla 
 
Food Pairing: fois gras rapped in ham, we call #jambon in France. It was simply delicious.
 
Afternoon Lunch at Champagne house Richardot
 
Situated in in the heart of the Côte des Bar, in the southernmost part of Champagne
Family Richard has been harvesting from 2 generations, you will find their pressing center, the local winemaking and hospitality at Loches-sur-Ource, the vineyard is located in the charming village of Essoyes (small tourist center which seduced by its time of painter Renoir). 
 
Geography: The Champagne vineyard extends east of Paris (about 120 miles) and it follows the Valley Marne to Epernay. North is facing by mountain of Reims, south facing to the Côte des Blancs, and south-east facing to the Côte des Bar. The Champagne vineyards is nearly 34000 hectares, spanning 5 departments. L'Aube alone comprises 6,900 hectares.
 
How to get hear: follow map/directions
 
10kl
 
After a chilly morning, nothing could ease you better, as fire place and champagne does.
 
 11kl
 
On Lunch: Brut Tradition
 
This champagne is characterized by notes of zesty and white flowers. A beautiful freshness and color with green gold shades, this champagne is composed of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. 
 
The Champagne vineyards features three varieties:
 
  • Pinot Noir which gives more robust wines
  • Pinot Meunier gives fruitier wines and low acid
  • Chardonnay produces freshness and finesse in assemblages
List of Champagne produced by the family Richard
 
Discovering Champagne Richardot 
 
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Don't forget to buy extra... you may loose one..wink !
 
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Troyes speciality: Chaource Cheese, one of 33 controlled designations (A.O.C.) 
 
 
Du Cote Des Renoir- Essoyes dans l'Aube
 
Two-and-a-half hours southeast of Paris, in the part of Champagne that borders Burgundy, is a lovely little village. Today visitors to Essoyes can learn about the life of the Renoir family at the Atelier Renoir, and enjoy the landscape. Essoyes still remains “more or less unspoiled.”  Like many French villages and towns it is a place where peace and order prevail, and l’art de vivre—the careful rituals and habits of daily life—is maintained. For more information click HERE
 
14kl
 
Like Renoir, one could stay happily in Essoyes for quite some time, simply enjoying the beauty of the countryside and the peaceful pace of life, exploring its quiet pleasures, being welcomed at the many caves in the nearby area, where local vintners are happy to provide visitors with dégustation of exquisite champagnes not found anywhere else on earth.
 
 15kl
 
Having said that, the area also offers numerous possibilities for recreation, amusement, visits to historic sites and other places of interest.
 
 16kl
 
Dégustation de la maison familiale des Renoir.
 
 17kl
 
Champagne R Dumont & Fils 
For more information click - HERE
How to get here: follow map/directions 
 
 18kl
 
Champagne Charles- Collin
for more information click HERE
How to get here: follow map/directions
 
Champagne Chassznay D'Arce Rosé
for more information click HERE
How to get here: follow map/directions
 
 19kl
 
Dont Miss: The stained-glass windows of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral, dating from the 13th-19th centuries. Make sure your visit before 4PM. How to get here: follow map/directions
 
Le Celler St' Pierre a 12th Century Building 
 
Our last stop of the day - the cellar of Saint Pierre, opposite to the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral. We were welcomed by caviste. For those who don't the what the purpose of wine cellar, here is small definition - A wine cellar is basically a storage room, most importantly in an active wine cellar, temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system. In contrast, passive wine cellars are not climate-controlled, and are usually built underground to reduce temperature swings. 
 
20kl
 
 
 
            A fine place to purchase bubbly and aube wines such as rosé des Riceys.
 
Before heading to the underground cellar, let's discover their local gin called as Prunelle. with Monsieur caviste himself, let's head to the distillery.. Troyes sloe (blackthorn fruit) gin is made using its original recipe right here !
  
21kl
 
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Interesting facts:
 
  • It won a gold medal at the Paris international exhibition in 1900.
  • The cellar has been used since 1840 to distil Prunelle de Troyes, a 40% liqueur made with sloe (blackthorn fruit) Sunday and Monday they are closed. 
A must visit..
 
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A underground cellar 
 
 25kl
    
Interesting facts:  
  • The cellar tunnel leading to the cathedral. 
  • It won a gold medal at the Paris international exhibition in 1900.
  • The cellar has been used since 1840 to distil Prunelle de Troyes, a 40% liqueur made with sloe (blackthorn fruit) Sunday and Monday they are closed. 
 
Pascal Caffet - Chocolatier - Pâtissier - Troyes 
 
Pascal Caffet is a World Champion French pastry confectioner and chocolate maker. He has shops in France, Italy and in Japan.
 
 26kl
 
 
It is like indulging fine luxury that we got treated during our dégustation at the cellar of st. peters. Chocolates and pastries are to die for. Richness of cacao, different flavours, nuts, typical grapes from champagne, and I reckon the feel of melting on mouth was an experience, One can never had enough. 
 
For information click HERE
 
 27kl
 
Special thanks goes to the very talented Laëtitia ROGGERO our host and guide from Aube en Champagne, without her the visits were not possibly occur. I will be glad to meet you again and discover other champagne houses. Thanks to this highly energetic and wine startup accelerator and a dear friend Vincent Petre thanks for everything; Camille you were absolutely fun to be with, I still remember fillu's love for you ;) last but not least my dear friend Sarah, this was our first trip together, you made me discover an amazing bottle of champagne, which I will never forget, and also for putting up my name across for this trip with you all. Santé ! 
 
Day #2
 
En Barmont vineyard. 
 
#specialedition on Organic & Biodynamic
 
 28kl
 
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In photo: Australian friend Sarah; Community Manger Camille; Vincent Petre; Olivier Horiot
 
In the southern-most part of the Champagne region, the Côte des Bar in the Aube department, there is the town of Les Riceys, where the slopes are blessed with the portlandian formation of Kimmeridgian clay, (Is calcareous clay containing Kimmeridgian limestone. This is the principal soil type of the Loire Valley, Champagne and Burgundy regions) that same great stuff that is know for the foundation of the finest Chablis and Sancerre. Besides here the idea was to plant Pinot Noir on these chalky slopes, do a long maceration, often using whole bunches, and then age it a few years 
(at least 3) before release. wow !
 
 30kl
 
 
Interview: This Interview took place at 25 Rue de Bise 10340 Les Riceys hosted by dear friend Vincent Petre and surrounded with Intellectual digital communication team & bloggers.
 
Monsieur, Olivier Horiot took over the estate of his father Serge in 1999.
 
He immediately started using organic and some biodynamic practices and reoriented the winemaking to being more terroir-focused. In order to make the Rosé des Riceys, Olivier follows a very strict selection of grapes from two separate sights - en Valingrain and en Barmont - vinifying them separately. 
 
The wines start with about 10% of the grapes that are foot-trodden at the bottom of the cuve, then whole bunches are added. Macerations usually last 5-6 days with pumping over twice a day. After the wine is racked into older barrels, it remains there for a few years before being bottled without any fining or filtration.
 
 31kl
 
 
  • The reality is that Rosé des Riceys requires the best south-facing hills.
  • The reputation of Rosé des Riceys for aging is impressive. 
  • Rosé des Riceys appellation, dedicated exclusively to non-sparkling rosés, sharing the same Kimmeridgian soils with Chablis.
  • The palate is feminine and floral with dried roses and berries. Great acidity and crystalline flavors made this quite exciting.
What inspired you to started making your own owines?
 
During my time in US, vinifying in the state of Washington. Where I worked, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling were all planted together in the same vineyard! 
 
It struck in my mind as odd that they thought they could produce quality wine this way, but I later realized that they were simply trying to figure out what grape was best suited for this terroir. When I came home, I had that utterance. My family's land already had established grapes grown on established terroir. I also realized that with just one grape (Pinot Noir), you could produce many different styles of wine still have them be profound of a place.
 
Everyone makes Champagne, but we are only 15 who continue to make Rosé des Riceys. Our first sparkling was produced in 2004.
 
Olivier also produces 4 Champagnes: a Blanc de Noir from the en Barmont vineyard named Sève, two blends of multiple parcels, 5 Sens and Métisse, as well as a quirky, unexpected Champagne produced with the Arbane grape, aptly named Arbane. 
 
They all have very low dosages, never above 2 g. 
 
 32kl
 
Most regions of France don't have this versatility. The magic of Les Riceys is that with Pinot Noir, you can make quality rosé, red, white, white Champagne and rosé Champagne. This makes it a truly unique place.
 
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Can you tell us about Les Riceys and its history?
 
The region of Champagne used to be extremely densely planted; vines were 40 centimeters from each other. There was no way to get a horse in there, and all the work had to be done by hand. These reputably were amongst the best red wines of France in medieval times. 
 
The Riceys AOC was created in 1945. But prior to this, an insatiable group of growers had always produced rosé because it was THE local wine. 
 
Today, we are between 15 and 20 for a total production of 70 000 bottles a year. It's tiny! And in years like 2001 or 2007, no one made any because the quality wasn't there. So instead, everyone made bubbles. We are definitely lucky to have that sort of Luxury !
 
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Indian Wine consumption has grown 25-30% annually over a 5 year period. In the coming years, 10 percent of the current population will become of legal drinking age, and this will further bring about an increase in alcohol consumption.
 
Indian women are beginning to prefer champagne/wine as a more socially acceptable form of drinking for females. It is seen as more feminine to consume wine as opposed to the hard liquor that men are more traditionally seen consuming. 
 
In summary, we believe that Indian wine consumption has a huge potential. The population growth is estimated at 22 births per 1000 people, equaling almost 25 million births per year; roughly 1/10th of the U.S. population each year. The median age for Indian people is 25 which is also legal age for alcohol consumption, supermarkets are emerging to support wine distribution infrastructure, wine is becoming more acceptable to women and youth, and this country has a domestic market with an increasing disposable income and growing tourism industry.
 
Dear Champagne lovers,  if you are planning a trip to #Champagneregion you definitely don't want to miss this out. Feel free to contact me for an exclusive trip to champagne region and related information.
 
Wine Tours In France I welcome all Indian consumers, explorers, and amateurs, to discover champagne, wine, cognac from different regions and the beautiful countryside and landscape of France. (Which could be tailored according to the demand).
Please do not hesitate to contact me at sanghamitra.banik06@gmail.com
Best time to visit France - March, April, May, June, July, August, October (August & October some of the chateaux are closed during HARVEST season). 

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