Champagne Day

We’re so excited today, because we’re launching our priority mailing list for anyone who wants to get our App “Champagne Day” for the special one-day-only price when we launch it soon.

Why have we made an App?

Lots of guests who stay with us at Les Molyneux ask the same questions.  These questions are usually, where can we taste champagne, which restaurants do you recommend, where can we walk in the forest, what can we do with the children, how can I meet some small producers, what are the opening times of the large champagne houses?

And so the App “Champagne Day” answers all those questions.  Not only that, inside the App, you’ll actually get to see the places and the people who are just waiting to meet you, sometimes via video, before your next trip to Champagne.

We’ve collected our knowledge together and you can enjoy it in an entertaining and informative way, and I bet you’ll be planning your next trip to Champagne very soon.  Inside, as well as Moet et Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Pommery plus a personal collection of our favourite smaller producers, you’ll find activities for the children in Champagne, our favourite restaurants, food and wine festivals, champagne tastings and so much more.

So to get the App at the one-day-only special price when we launch, you need to get yourself on our priority mailing list by clicking here, and we’ll see you in Champagne soon

Yvonne

 

Champagne Christmas fun in Epernay

The weekend of the 13/14/15th December 2013 is a great time to come to Epernay, where the Christmas street party takes place on the Avenue de Champagne.  Usually, not many of the big champagne houses on the Avenue are open to the public, but on this weekend, they all are!  And not only are they open, you are invited to join in, with champagne flowing, food to go, live music, fun and fireworks.  If you’ve never been to Epernay for  this brilliant event, then put it in your diary for 2012.

The “Habits de Lumiere” event (which literally means “dressed in lights”)  is where the Avenue de Champagne is lit up like Disneyland,  with even a Disney-esque procession and spectacular fireworks on the Friday night, cooking demonstrations and champagne and food matching on Saturday, and a vintage car procession on Sunday.

Thousands of locals flock to the event, and you should be there too!  Put it in your diary, and we’ll meet you there!

Les Molyneux Christmas Gift Shop is now OPEN!

Christmas is less than 4 weeks away, and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t even begun present-buying yet.  I know that I struggle with thinking of what to buy for people, especially as I have a large number of people in my family and friendship group that I don’t see very often, but who are important to me.

I wanted to find unsual and original gifts that they certainly wouldn’t be receiving from anyone else, so that’s when I came up with the idea to offer gifts from Champagne.  Sending the bubbly around the world can often be a challenge, but champagne related gifts, directly from the region itself can be shipped anywhere.  Brilliant, I thought.  But where can I find those gifts?

That’s when I thought of my friend Laurette Barnaut from Champagne Edmond Barnaut.  Laurette has a marvellous gift shop in Bouzy where you can find all kinds of unique gifts, plus you can taste the champagnes while browsing.  Perfect!  So I went to see her and she agreed to partner with us.  We put the gift boxes together from items from her shop, and she takes care of the shipping.

So when you order your Christmas gifts from us, you may get a little surprise inside, from Laurette.  Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Enjoy!

Gifts for Him – Champagne Connoisseur

 

A quirky selection of great champagne related gifts all beautifully presented in our Champagne Connoisseur gift box.  Inside you’ll find:

  • A book for keeping the labels of your favourite champagnes, plus a unique system for removing the labels all in tact from the bottles
  • A little book for writing down your notes on all those wonderful champagnes you’ve tasted, so you’ll know what to look for next time
  • Test your knowledge with this fun champagne trivia quiz (in English) to amuse you and your friends at your next party
  • A hermetically sealed champagne stopper, for when you really can’t finish the bottle
  • A pourer to make sure you don’t spill a single drop
  • And a lovely apron to protect your clothes, just in case you do spill a bit

All beautifully presented in a gift box for yourself or for the special champagne connoisseur in your life

Price includes all contents, gift box and shipping

Champagne Connoisseur
A selection of unusual gifts to delight and inspire the Champagne Connoisseur in your life. Click on the title to read more.

B&B moments in Champagne

What do you do when you’re driving up a narrow street and someone has left their car parked so you can’t get past?  Do you honk your horn and wait patiently, and still no-one comes?  Or do you get in the car, seeing that the keys are in it, and move it so you can pass?  That’s exactly what Nicolas Rainon did this week, when I was invited to experience an “Oenovasion Vendanges” – a Harvesting Discovery Day!  That was just the beginning of an eventful and amazing day.

We climbed into his Landrover Discovery at 10AM and then found ourselves driving along the disused railway line called the CBR which used to connect all of the villages along the Montagne de Reims until it was finally taken up in the 60s.  Then he stopped while we admired the view, and then he advanced literally over the cliff!  I must confess I didn’t look!  And then we were in the vineyards literally, driving along grass tracks while he was explaining how to tell the difference between the different vines, and how in fact 50million years ago, the chalky terrain now known as Champagne was created. Nicolas is a mine of information about this region.

Next we climbed 102 steps up the lighthouse in Verzenay while he explained just how small each parcel of vines can be and why each grape farmer must spread his parcels far apart to avoid localised adverse weather conditions and complete destruction of his livelihood.  It was all truly fascinating.

After a hard morning’s study, we then pitched up at his wife, Marie-Noelle’s champagne house where we were treated to a harvester’s lunch and 4 matching champagnes.  Marie Noelle is passionate about the skill of matching champagne and food and is in fact, teaching this skill to their 6 year old daughter, Marie Amelie, by never mixing flavours on the same plate of food.

Then came the hard part.  Out into the vineyards we were taken by Nicolas, this time by the road (!) and we each took our secateurs and a bucket and were given instructions on how to pick the grapes.  When we had all picked a bucket-full, we emptied them into a large box, and then followed the boxes to the pressoir, where we witnessed the pressing of the grapes we had picked.

The press is so sophisticated, that it only presses the mature grapes and leaves everything else un-pressed, even the ladybirds!

The results of our hard work will not be known for at least 4 years, but I’ve no doubt that it will be an amazing cuvee that everyone will be talking about for years to come!

Happy days :-)

 

If you’d like to know how you too can be part of this exciting event on the Champagne calendar in 2012, email now at yvonne@yvonnehalling.com before all the places are taken.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon :-)

 

A Walk in the (Verzy) Forest

Today was such a beautiful day, my daughters and I took a stroll through the wonderful forest of Verzy and shot some video so you can see what it’s like.  Rare beech trees grow here, called “Les Faux” which literally means the false ones, but they’re not false, they’re real!  Instead of growing straight up like a regular beech tree, they grow this way and that in a gnarled and hap-hazard way, and cast their branches right down to the ground, making a sort of umbrella or igloo shape.  Rare indeed.

Take a look at the video here… enjoy!

More Clicquot

Continuing the Veuve Clicquot theme that I started on a previous post, I took Pepper out into the vineyards today, behind the Clicquot Manoir here in Verzy, and discovered some little yellow signs alongside the vines.  Each sign had a name on it with a date, and I was fascinated to learn what they were for.

Take a look at the video and you’ll find out.

Enjoy!

Veuve Clicquot’s Mansion in Verzy

I was out and about with my dog today, so I took three short videos on the lovely mansion here in Verzy, built by Mme Clicquot in the mid 1800s for entertaining her very important clients from the European aristocracy. It’s still used to today to entertain VIP clients, by invitation only. Take a look at the videos here… Enjoy!

Sexual confusion in the vineyards

This is a short video about how the grape farmers stop the rot caused by two particular butterflies.  They attach small brown plastic pods to the wires which support the vines, inside of which is the sexual hormones of the female butterflies.  The emission of the hormones confuses the male butterflies and so they can’t find the eggs to fertilise!  I thought that was so clever when it was explained to me by Isabelle Corbeaux of Champagne Pierre Deville and Veronique Lallement of Champagne Lallement, two lovely French ladies who are part of my English class here in Verzy. 

You can see what I’m talking about in this video below.

Enjoy!

More reasons to visit Champagne

Since returning to Champagne just over a year ago, I have been surprised at the amount of development that’s been going on in the region.  Reims is expanding, growing and bringing itself into the 21st century with style and elegance, and it’s a joy to watch. 

First the arrival of the high speed train TGV in 2007, then a new southern bypass around the city, and then lots of new businesses springing up and the opening of  IKEA.  Next is the official inauguration of the smart new tramway in the city centre on the 16th April.

It’s buzzing, thriving and upbeat.  A refreshing change from other recession-hit areas. 

Take a look at this great article in the Guardian, then come on down and see for yourself.

Enjoy!