If you’re wondering about when is a good time to come to Champagne in 2012, then let me help you. Anytime is a great time, but there are some special events happening this year that you won’t want to miss, especially if you love the bubbly as much as we do.
If you’re a real champagne aficionado, you won’t want to miss these two special tasting events in April, dedicated to smaller champagne makers:
Terres et Vins (actual date to be confirmed, but will be early April) and the other is Les Artisans du Champagne, Reims on the 17th April 2012 at Régates Rémois (Reims Rowing Club)
At each event, some 15-25 selected champagne makers present their champagnes and often the still wines from which champagne is blended. This is a truly fascinating experience, and whichever event you choose, you’ll come away with a brilliant insight into the skill of making champagne, making your next champagne moment amazing!
On the last weekend in May, there’s La Foire de la Gastronomie et du Vin in the village of Mailly Champagne. This is a fabulously French, informal and rustic fair and on a warm day, it’s magical. The roads in the village are closed off, and the champagne producers open their doors, set up stalls outside and welcome you to taste and discover. Just stroll around the village tasting food, wines from around France and of course champagne, and soak up the atmosphere.
The Fete Henri IV in Ay, only happens every two years, and it’s happening this July 2012. So don’t miss it or you’ll have to wait another 2 years. Come on down on the first weekend of July to sample the delights of the champagnes of the former capital town of champagne. There’s “open house” at many of the champagne makers, including Bollinger, street barbeques, open-air music, all sorts of food stalls and a great atmosphere.
The Harvest normally happens in September, but it really depends on the kind of weather we’ll be having, so I’ll keep you updated if you want to come and experience the grape picking . Last year it was all over by the end of August and I was lucky enough to be part of the team at Champagne Henriet Bazin for just one memorable day. We began the day with an Oenovasion Vineyard Tour in Nicolas’ Landrover Discovery where we literally went off the edge of a cliff into the vineyards! After a simple lunch of traditional grape-pickers’ fare, with champagne of course, we were whisked off into the vineyards again but this time to pick and harvest the grapes. If you want to know what it feels like to be part of the fabric of this region, then you won’t want to miss this experience. Watch this space!
With summer behind us, and the harvest taken care of, we can turn our attention to one of the best wine fairs I’ve ever seen. It’s the “Foire des Vignerons Indépendents” (Reims Wine Festival) and it’s at the Parc des Expositions in Reims from the 9-11th November. Another great place to experience the atmosphere of Champagne, with not only champagne makers, but wine makers from all over France who gather here to meet with wine lovers like you. If you want to stock up on your wines and champagnes for Christmas, at prices you’d never see outside of France, then you won’t want to miss this event.
And to round off the year in true Champagne-style, the annual Habits de Lumières Festival in Epernay in December is a spectacular experience. It’s happening in 2012 on the 7th – 9th and it’s another great opportunity to be part of the fun of Champagne life. Many of the big Champagne Houses on the famous Avenue de Champagne open their doors to welcome us. There’s food, music, street entertainment and fireworks, and of course, champagne!
And we haven’t even mentioned all the champagne houses to visit and good restaurants to try, village festivals to enjoy and the culture and heritage to experience, at any time of the year!
Les Molyneux is your home from home in the heart of Champagne. We welcome guests from all over the world, helping you to discover the hidden gems through advice, tours, tastings and luxury accommodation. Visit our website to book your next trip