Saturday, 24 September 2011

Champange - a place to visit?

 Many anipals are searching for a nice destination for a weekend out. I have been to the Southern part of the Champange region in France to find out it it is worth taking your human there.
The little village of Les Ricys (actually three small villages) has about 1300 inhabitants and more than 30 Champange houses. I wanted to make sure our Champange supplies for the festive season is en route.

I visited several Champange houses and tasted a lot. All I had was really good. Les Riceys is also known for their Rosé wine, so I tasted that too. In the village they make a lot of their champange with the Pinot Noir grape. It is a small red grape, and I can tell it makes very nice white champange. Sometimes they leave the skin in with the juice for a short while, and then they get a pink champange.
The soil is important to grape growing. In Les Riceys it is good for grapes. I inspected it and it is.

Most of the grapes where harvested when I was there. It was an unusual ealy harves this year. We have to wait a while to find out if the harvest was good, but people I spoke with said it was fair.

Champange is stored in bottles for at least 18 monthes and they are stored in a rack with the neck down. Deposits form the yeast processe settles in the neck and is removed before we get it to drink. I must say humans are clever. 

As I mentioned, there are more than 30 champange houses in Les Riceys, and at every junction there are signs telling you who to find where. Tasting often costs some, but no more than a coffe, and then you get many champanges too. I would recommend saving money on coffe and go for the champange if you find your self in the region.

As most of you know by now, I think it is important to smell the champange, or wine, before you tast it. it gives a better idea of the complexity of the drink. Champange often smell of minerals and fresh bread.
As most champange glasses are tall and elegant, I needed the help of Henrietta to get a good taste. This particular champange had a taste of apple jucie, butter and minerals, with a short after taste.
I tried to explain the tasting prosess to Henrietta, and she smelled the champange like a proffesional. But then, when I was holding her up to smell, she made a jump.... oh dear....
Oh, yes, back to is it worth taking your sure is. You will have a happy human all the time you are in Champange...just leave your pet at home.


  1. Maybe Henrietta thought champagne was for swimming in!

  2. fank yoo for al th infamayshun barkly. that wos alot yoo did in frans.

    i did neerly fal of my chare wen i seed wot henryetta did do. er wos reely norty. i fink is bestist to leev er at ome nekt time

  3. Oh deer, oh deer. I ope Henryetta has sobered up by Christmas Berkeley and she dussnt ave no hangover.

  4. Miam miam, le champagne et tellement bon! Love the photos!

  5. We're having a Halloween contest; we hope you enter!

  6. What a great blog Berkeley - I have been to the Champagne region of California and I agree a champagne tasting is a very good idea. I love to see you hamster enjoying herself too. Reminds me of Theo! Great stuff.