Champagne Festival in Epernay

The « Habits de Lumiere » Festival in Epernay is only a couple of weeks away now, and the theme this year is “Imagination”.

Your weekend starts at 6.30pm on Friday 14th December, on the Avenue de Champagne, where the usually closed doors of the large champagne houses, fling open their gates and invite you in to taste their champagnes at the bars,   indulge in the gourmet food, listen to the live music, and maybe even dance.

Chestnuts are roasting on the street, fairy lights adorn the buildings, and the sound of music, Jazz, Spanish, Mexican is everywhere along this famous street.

At 7.15pm the street procession begins at Place de la Republique and finishes at the top of the Avenue de Champagne at Mercier, where at 8.30pm you’ll witness an amazing firework display set to music.

Time to head on back to the champagne bars and indulge a little more perhaps?

On Saturday 15th December, there’s more, with many local celebrated chefs giving live demonstrations of their culinary skills and of course there’s wonderful delicacies to delight your tastebuds.  Art exhibtions, photographic exhibitions and of course cellar visits, followed by the street procession again at 6.45pm, and then back to Chateau Perrier for a fabulous light display and perhaps another glass of champagne?  Why not…

And on Sunday morning, if you’re feeling up to yet more champagne  (and why wouldn’t you be? ), there’s a vintage car procession starting at 11am through the town of Epernay.

A fabulous weeked not to be missed…. Are you coming?

 

Champagne Tasting in Champagne

April is one of the best times to come to Champagne, before the season really gets going, and if you’re a champagne enthusiast, you’ll definitely want to be at one of four of the best and most dynamic champagne tastings taking place this year.

The first is the Terroirs et Talents de Champagne and  takes place in Epernay on  Sunday 13th and 14th April at the Restaurant Au  Théatre. In no particular order (!) Champagne producers taking part at this tasting will include:

From La Montagne de Reims:

  • Aspasie
  • Maxime Blin
  • Penet Chardonnet

From La Côte des Blancs:

  • de Sousa
  • André Jacquart
  • Vazart Coquart

From La Vallée de la Marne:

  • Janisson Baradon
  • Michel Loriot
  • Sélèque

And Jacques Copinet from Le Sézannais
and  Coessens from further south in La Côte des Bar

To book your place at this event, simply email: terroirs.et.talents@gmail.com

Your next date is on  Monday 14th for the Terres et Vins de Champagne at the
Hotel Castel Jeanson, Ay, and in no particular order,  the champagnes being presented at this tasting will include:

  • Horiot
  • Agrapart
  • Françoise Bedel
  • Bérche
  • Francis Boulard
  • Chartogne-Taillet
  • Couche
  • Doquet
  • René Geoffroy
  • Etienne Goutourbe
  • Jeauneaux-Robin
  • Benoit Lahaye
  • Laherte Fréres
  • Tarlant
  • Leclapart
  • Franck Pascal
  • Hubert Paulet
  • Pouillon & Fils

Go here to book your place at this event (the picture is from last year’s event, sadly)

http://www.terresetvinsdechampagne.com/home/formulaire.php

Go to Formulaire d’Inscription

And third is Les Artisans du Champagne on 15th April at Chateau Les Crayeres, Reims.  You’ll be able to meet and chat with these producers there:

  • Maillard
  • Paillard
  • Savart
  • Huré
  • Hébrard
  • Gerbais
  • Doyard
  • JL Vergon
  • Alfred Gratien
  • Margaine
  • Vilmart
  • Lancleot Pienne
  • Dehours
  • Gonet Médeville

You’ll need to go here to get yourself into this event:

http://www.lesartisansduchampagne.com/

Go to Inscription en Lignes,

And finally, on the 16th April, David Pehu and his group will be presenting their champagnes, venue to be confirmed.

Well, if that’s not a great selection of small producers, I don’t know what is! Looking forward to seeing you in Champagne in April.

Stay Bubbly!

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

 

Reasons to come to Champagne in 2012

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

http://bedandbreakfastinchampagne.com

Reims Wine Festival

Once again the wonderful annual Wine Festival has arrived in Reims, and we didn’t miss this chance to go take a look and meet some new people.  Every year, this wine festival gets bigger and bigger with more and more exhibitors and wine enthusiasts.  And it’s not surprising when you see the range on offer and the incredible prices. Over 300 winemakers from all over France gather in Reims on the second weekend of November to offer their latest wines and network with potential partners and customers.

Spending the whole day here is not out of the question, but you’d have to “spit” instead of “swallow” if you wanted to remain standing!  With foie-gras sandwiches and oysters and chips, finishing off with hand-make chocolates and matured cheeses, it’s a gastronomic delight for foodies and wine lovers alike.

Put the date in your diary to come on down next year.  Stock up on your wines and champagnes for Christmas and New Year, or simply enjoy the atmosphere and the passion of the participants.  A “must” in the diary!