Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to France’s Champagne region to visit its prestigious vineyards and Champagne houses. But how many of them can say they know the real Champagne? Today we shine a light on some of the region’s better-kept secrets… Are you looking for business translation services? Contact Translation Services UK
- The sparkling wine we call Champagne may not have been invented here – As a product labelled with Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, or regional distinction, Champagne can only be sold as such when it originates from the Champagne region. However, it has been argued that the sparkling wine for which this area is renowned originally came from the Languedoc, many hundreds of miles to the south
- There are other excellent wines to be tasted in Champagne – Its sparkling wine may be this area’s main draw, but these succulent grapes also produce some top, non-sparkling alternatives, such as Champagne Edmond Barnaut’s sophisticated vintage red
- The streets of Reims hide subterranean secrets – As Champagne’s largest and most prosperous city, and home to one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, it’s no wonder many choose to base themselves in Reims for a Champagne holiday. But do they know what lies beneath their feet? It’s estimated that there are around 120 miles of chalk tunnels below Reims, most of which are used to regulate the temperature at which Champagne is aged.
- There are many different landscapes in Champagne – While, below the soil, chalk and limestone lend Champagne its characteristic lightness, above the soil the landscape is remarkably varied, creating nuanced flavours between vineyards. Thick forests, rolling hills, sunlit fields and plains, vast lakes, bustling cities, tiny villages – all are here to savour.
- A love of Champagne helped saved France in World War Two – “Remember!” said Winston Churchill, “It’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” This famous line sums up the other interest Allied leaders had in saving France during the Second World War, an interest which some historians think may have played an important role in Churchill’s intervention against the Germans: preserving the sparkling heritage, and production, of his favourite drink
Rosé Wine Destinations
In the second of our series on the world’s best destinations for wine holidays, today we’re sharing our top spots for fans of rosé.
This blushing beauty owes its luscious colour to grape skins, and is thought by some to be older in variety than its white and red cousins due to the traditional ‘skin contact’ method used in much of its production. In other words, when the ancients got down to the simple maceration of their grapes, rosé wine is most likely to have been what they came out with. Rosé is manufactured right across the globe. But, for our money, here’s where you should go to taste the best:
France been a foremost producer of rosé for centuries, with grapes flourishing in both cooler and Mediterranean climates. In Provence, it is rosé which makes up the majority of the region’s wine production.
Visit: the illustrious Taittinger in Reims, to sample its Prestige Rosé Champagne, surely one of rosé’s most decadent varieties.
Italian rosé spans the entire breadth of the pink palette: picture the coppery rosato, cherry-coloured ceraluso, and ethereal pale rosato naturale, then fill the gaps with everything in between.
Visit: the majestically rustic Vignamaggio, one of Tuscany’s oldest farming estates, to taste its luminous rosato, Albaluce.
Famed for the success of its sparkling rosé producer Mateus in the post-war market, today’s Portuguese pinks are serious contenders in the international market.
Visit: Quinta dos Vales, a multi-award-winning estate in the bright Algarve region with no less than four excellent rosés to its name.
Rosewein is prevalent in several regions of the country. Each is known for their distinctive characteristics and flavour profiles.
Visit: the family-run Weingut Walter J. Oster in the prestigious Mosel region, where a passion for winemaking has continued across 15 generations. Here steep terroirs nurture the grapes for their signature rosé.