The world famous Champagne is produced in the small Champagne-Ardennes region. In fact, sparkling wine can only be regarded as Champagne if it's produced in this region. Someone might get confused and call a Catalan cava Champagne. Despite both being sparkling wines and composed of the same grape varieties, one would be Champagne and the other would remain Cava. One of the most famous wineries is probably "Moet et Chandon". This "house" has its warehouses, offices and shop in the town of Epernay, in the aforementioned region. Although it is the best-selling Champagne (nationally and internationally) something not many people know is that Moet et Chandon only has 15% of the vineyards here producing their wines. The remaining 85% is purchased by farm owners who cultivate vines in the same region. 85% is acquired as grape juice, then transported to the huge galleries of Moet et Chandon and their cellars. After a long process and a long rest, this juice will become the delicious Champagne.
It is undoubtedly the most famous Champagne cellar in the world. Located in Epernay, a small town in the Champagne region, the name Champagne is shared amongst the cellars (as only sparkling wine that is produced here has this name). Due to the popularity of the internationalized brand Moët et Chandon, tourists often visit, but experts are not always swayed by the brand and seek other properties and go to other wineries, often discovering marvels that appear as a result of certain crops. The winery tour I found very pleasant. Obviously, large companies are often exploitative but the guide seemed very professional, the tasting was also nice, and we had some freedom to explore, though more or less kept an eye on, thousands of meters of corridors and rows and rows of bottles. I do not quite remember the time spent on the tour, but it was around 60 minutes. At the end we passed through the store (as in any museum, garden, landmark building hahaha) where we were offered classics from Moët et Chandon or other souvenirs for those that presume to know a little about bubbly. The tour costs about 16 € with a tasting of various types of Champagne. Full of curiosities, so keep your eyes open and ears peeled!
Saint-Tropez does not only offer beautiful beaches, night parties and luxury boutiques. It is also an important city with prized vineyards, cultivated for the production of the famous "Côtes de Provence". The Bertaud-Belieru winery is a 5 minute drive from the city center, along the stunning coast. It is an important winery which specializes in the Rosé de Provence, and to a lesser extent, regional red and white wines.
As you drive in, you will be greeted by the sight of several hectares of vineyards. Inside, you can visit the fermentation rooms with wooden barrels and stainless steel tanks that reduce the levels of sulfites which in a bottle. Feel free have a taste of the wine with a delicious slice of ham. You will leave wanting to buy a bottle or two, something I did, enjoying them right away, but try to do so with moderation!
On one of our day trips visiting villages around Quimper, on the way to Locronan we went to a cider distillery, although unfortunately I can´t remember the name or the area where it was. It had all different kinds of old gadgets on display, to show how they used to make the cider, and there is a factory that goes through all the processes, in French. As I am not very good with the language, I was unable to learn a great deal, but at least at the end of the visit my companions gave me a brief summary and we went to the factory shop where we were offered a tasting of different types of cider that were made there.
Vouvray is a small town, on the banks of the Loire, east of Tours (on the route that leads from Tours to Amboise, Blois and Orléans). The village itself is nothing extraordinary .... But its wineries and vineyards are worth a visit! Indeed Vouvray wine is one of the most famous and is drunk in the area, as much its white wine as its sparkling wine (champagne). Whereupon the town is full of wineries and wine production farms you may also stroll through the vineyards which are a bit outside the town center. Most of the wineries you can visit and taste their wine or buy them if you like them. I've already gone twice to Allias Domaine where Vouvray wine has been produced organically for over a century! I like the place first of all for the friendliness of the owners who are always ready to visit to the wineries, the Tuffeau (the same that was used to build the castles of the Loire!), and delighted to give you a taste of wine. Obviously it's a little sad to go to so much bother only to buy one bottle ... Although there is no obligation, it seems a nice gesture (besides the wine is very rich!). I am not sure if they speak English or Spanish... You might have to pay a silent visit There are many more wineries. If they attract your attention, go! And tell us how it was!
You have to spend some time on a trip through Provence to enjoy this world famous wine. His AOC (Appellation d'Origne contrôlée), which amounts to the PDO, comprises an area of 32 square kilometres. There are 320 growers producing almost 14 million bottles yearly. All of the wine is either red or white, the pink variety is not allowed. There are strict rules that allow the use of 13 different types of grapes harvested manually. These wineries boast of having the best wine growers. The winery is very nice and has Roman ruins in the background. The wines can be viewed on their website. Around the village you can take part in wine tasting at different prices and you must finish the day eating somewhere that has a good wine list. The view from the castle is beautiful and whole environment with the vineyards, fantastic. A visit that cannot be missed in the heart of Provence.
Jasnières is a fruity white wine with a very refined bouquet. A treat for the taste buds that you can only find in Pays de la Loire. It is renowned as one of the best French dry white wines. Its finesse, elegance, and originality impart a seductive touch. Its characteristic oakey barrel taste leaves a special touch. The color yellow, gold, shining like the sun caresses you, as if it wants you to take hold of it. Its bouquet is very popular among the tasters and its aroma one of fresh local fruit with a light touch. Its color and sweet honey make this brew is a favorite for the 'lovers' of the art of wine making for its delicate texture. I am sure you will enjoy it much more contemplating the Loire!