December Reflections 22: Sparkling

On our travels this year we thought that we might visit some previously unexplored areas of France and we had an idea that Champagne in particular might be rewarding.

We belong to a scheme called France Passion, membership of which allows Motorhomers to stay overnight at a wide range of private stops. Many stopovers are Vineyards. They make for fine places to stay. We selected a Champagne Vigneron, just a small family outfit, not a grand Champagne House.

The Family House

Sadly, there was no vineyard in evidence – the vines are all up on the hillsides. What we did find was this lovely house, where the retired parents live. The son, who now works the estate, and his family live in a beautiful building conversion across the yard.

We had the place to ourselves…

Motorhome parking is around the back of the newer house, in the area of the vegetable garden cum orchard. We parked beneath a cherry tree burdened with fruit.

…apart from the wasps that were attracted by the fruit

All of the production of the champagne is now done at the village cooperative so we spent a peaceful time here with no farm or industrial noise at all.

Doorway to the family garden

This is simply a home and it is beautifully kept, with many floral touches about the place.

The farm is is adjacent to a deer park and things were so quiet that we had a visit from one of the deer in the late evening.

Our parking was bordered by a stream and then a fence. On the far side of the fence was waymarked a footpath, which we took full advantage of with Nell. The path ran alongside the deer park perimeter and was open to, at first, barley fields on the other side, then to vast arrays of sunflowers.

Classic Sunflowers

We were were invited to taste the champagne, an invitation which we happily accepted. Unfortunately we could only taste the basic wine. It was not possible to open the more expensive wines for two tasters. However, the wine that we tasted was exceptionally good at the price and so we took a chance. We purchased two bottles each of the four available wines to bring home with us and a ninth bottle to drink that evening. This was a Rosé and our hostess popped it into the freezer for half an hour for us and said that she would deliver it to the van before dinner. This too was a very nice wine.

We recently finished the last bottle of the Rosé

Since our visit to Champagne we have seen off six of our bottles. The two remaining ones are the top of the range “Millésime” Special Cuvée and those are being saved for our Wedding Anniversary on New Year’s Eve.

We need to schedule a return to Champagne! I want to go to the tasting at Veuve Clicquot next time…

à votre santé

Wishing you good cheer and a Sparkling Good Year in 2021. It could scarcely be worse than 2020, could it?

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