The Maison Belle Epoque of Perrier Jouet

May 23, 14 The Maison Belle Epoque of Perrier Jouet

Posted by in Champagne

The avenue de Champagne in Epernay is a long and elegant stretch lined with some of the biggest and most famous Houses of Champagne, each behind an imposing gate behind which stand some of the most beautiful examples of 19th century architecture. There is one house that stands out due to its simplicity. Set behind a high wall and iron gates, sits a 2 story white building built around a courtyard. Unbenowst to the casual passer-by, behind the doors lies the largest collection of Art Nouveau in Europe. It is the former home of Perrier family and has now been turned into the Maison Belle Epoque by Perrier-Jouët. Perrier-Jouët tasked two international experts, Camard and Marcihac, to search the auction houses of the world for Art Nouveau works. They were able to acquire over 200 pieces of art, furniture, tableware and lamps. Pieces of art by Gallé, Majorelle, Rodin, Daum, Lalique and others are found throughout the house. Walking into the house, it does take your breath away and I have to admit, just standing in the same room with some of the furniture, I was afraid I was going to break something. The Maison is used by Perrier-Jouët as a guesthouse for its most important visitors when they come to visit but I don’t know think I would use anything if I stayed there. They have one of the most expensive beds in the world, valued at over 300,000 dollars (designed and signed by Gallé) in one of the guest rooms. Even the toilets were too pretty to use. Art Nouveau is not the only art that Perrier- Jouët is interested in. Founded in 213, the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon is intended to generate lively debate within the art world and select an annual prize winner in contemporary craft. This year’s winner is: Laura Youngson Coll. Laura is a contemporary maker in leather and vellum, based in London who was selected by the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon members from a shortlist of 10 candidates for...

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Getting to grips with Champagne – a primer

Aug 22, 13 Getting to grips with Champagne – a primer

Posted by in Champagne

I love Champagne and it is one of the most popular high-end drinks on the market with people across the globe enjoying this bubbly beverage. French law states that, in order to be called champagne, drinks must be produced in designated areas within the Champagne region of the country and according to strict standards and processes. Located in the north-east of the nation, Champagne has been known for its sparkling wines for hundreds of years and the towns of Reims and Épernay are at the epicentre of the industry. Many of the most famous champagne houses are located in these areas. Certain big brands have achieved renown around the world, including the likes of Taittinger and Moët & Chandon. These producers tend to age their wines for several years and then blend them to create a consistent house style that people recognise. Each producer has its own technique when it comes to creating these bottled delights and this formula is passed down from generation to generation. It is also worth noting that, as well as the major international players, there are plenty of smaller producers in operation. In fact, much of the region’s ‘liquid gold’ is made by these less well-known vignerons, or wine producers. In total, there are nearly 5,000 small-scale houses creating champagne. In order to qualify as champagne, beverages must be made from certain grape varieties and the three primary grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Other grapes used include the Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc, but these make up a tiny proportion of current production. Those with a real passion for champagne can make trips to the home of the beverage and see the various houses in operation. For example, they can head to the headquarters of Taittinger just over a kilometre south-east of Reims centre. There, they can enjoy a presentation on the champagne making process. Enthusiasts can also travel to fellow industry giant Moët & Chandon, which I have visited, where they can walk through the house’s wine cellars. These are located ten to 30 metres below the chalky soil of Epernay and are the largest of...

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Guest Post, Caroline Henry – La Fine Bulle a perfect place to relax and discover new Champagnes in Epernay

Guest Post – There are so many great wine blogs out there in the blogosphere. These guest posts are an effort to introduce you to my fellow wine bloggers, people who’s blogs I enjoy reading and who I’ve met up with over a glass or two. Cheers!  Epernay lies in the centre of the Champagne region and is considered to be the capital of this wine region. It is sleepy little town situated at the banks of the Marne River at the cross roads of the 3 of the 4 sub regions – La Vallée de la Marne, Les Montagnes de Reims and La Côte des Blancs. It has been the home of the major Champagne Negotiants since the early 19th Century and still today one can visit the famous Champagne Houses on the Avenue du Champagne. It is hence the perfect place to go and sample a few Champagnes in the recently opened Champagne bar/store, a cosy yet classy bar, located 17 Rue Gambetta.  The bar offers a choice of 5  growers Champagnes by the glass, and changes the selection on a weekly basis. They have partnered up with 25 growers representing the main subregions in Champagne including de Côte des Bar in the Aube. Their by the glass selection tries to reflect the different styles of Champagne and the focus ranges from showing off a single variety (eg Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir) to showing the characteristics of the different regions. And the selection always includes one rosé. Glass sizes are 10 ml (€5.50) and 14ml (€6.50). Alternatively one can opt for a flight – here one can either choose to taste the 4 whites or to include the rosé as well and have a tasting of the 5 featured Champagnes. The flights come in 2 sizes, 5 ml tasting (€12 or €14) or 10 ml tastings (€20 or €26).  The featured Growers Champagnes are also available by the bottle for the very reasonable price of €35. La Fine Bulle also offers...

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Visiting the house of J de Telmont champagne

Nov 08, 10 Visiting the house of J de Telmont champagne

Posted by in Champagne, France

I had to choose between taking a 7am flight from Heathrow or catching the 6:55 am Eurostar. No brainer. Why would anyone want to go to Heathrow when you can jump on the Eurostar and be in Paris in 2 hours?  Not to mention, skipping the hassle and expense of getting to Heathrow. Did I mention that you also get a lovely Continental breakfast on the train, fresh croissants, real coffee, actual cutlery AND glasswear? Ahh, a throwback to the way air travel used to be (but on a train). I have to go to Portugal next month. Anyone know if Eurostar goes there? Anyway, I was hurtling through the English and French countryside on my way to Champagne via Paris. I’d been invited the Champagne Bureau to their Ambassador’s Dinner but first there was a visit to a lesser known champagne producer, the J. de Telmont house to have a visit and tasting. The champagne house of J. De Telmont in the village of Damery close to the town of Epernay. J. de Telmont was founded in 1912 by Henry Lhopital and until the late 1990’s relied solely on it’s private client base to sell it’s wines. In 1997, the decision was taken to become a bit more mainstream and the house opened up to the outside world, even becoming one of the very first champagnes offered by Majestic wines. Majestic was one of de Telmont’s  first overseas customers and you can still find their champagnes in their shops. The house is still run by the same family and the fourth generation, Bertrand Lhopital is the current Managing Director. On arriving we had a buffet of canapes to keep us occupied while we tasted through the house’s non-vintage and brut reserve wines. De Telmont specialize in blanc de blanc which is most unusual for the Valle de Marne, where they are situated, as blanc de blanc is not usually made in this part of Champagne. Their non-vintage blanc de blanc was crisp and...

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