Visiting the cellars of Laurent-Perrier Champagne

Mar 03, 14 Visiting the cellars of Laurent-Perrier Champagne

A few weeks ago I was in Champagne and paid a visit to the House of Laurent-Perrier. I always enjoy cellar visits but the ones in Champagne I especially like because they are usually carved out of chalk and full of all that lovely champagne! 🙂

in the cellars

in the cellars

endless cellar

endless cellar

The cellars of Laurent Perrier snake beneath the House for 10 kms and encompass not only the old cellars that are are over a hundred years old but also the sleekest stainless steel tanks I’ve ever seen. Laurent Perrier was one of the first houses to switch to all stainless steel tanks in the 1950’s which they believe contributes to the fresh, pure style of champagne that they are known for.

getting ready to riddle

getting ready to riddle

bottles throughout the centuries

bottles throughout the centuries

The bouvelard of stainless steel tanks that greeted us when the glass doors swooshed open looked like they would be more appropriate on a sci-fi set than a winery underneath the Champagne soil. These stainless steel tanks however didn’t just hold fermenting wine, these were the tanks that the House uses for it’s prestige cuvee, the Grand Siecle. Each tank is devoted to a grand cru village and is individually marked with a silver nameplate. The tanks are further separated into red and white, one colour on each side of the room. The hall of steel tanks ends in an elegant but futuristic looking tasting room.

Grand Siecle tanks

Grand Siecle tanks

grand cru nameplates

grand cru nameplates

the tasting room

the tasting room in the cellar

The House uses giant cement tanks as well for their other cuvees and these were also arranged down along a silent and atmospherically lit hallway. The tanks brought to mind a mausoleum but what was waiting within those walls was very much alive and just waiting to be turned into champagne.

cement tanks

cement tanks

cement tanks

cement tanks

Afterwards we moved upstairs to the classically furnished rooms of the House for a tasting of their champagnes. Gorgeous and plush, the room was the perfect setting for our luxurious tasting, too bad I shorted out the room! I needed to recharge my iPhone so while our host was getting the champagnes, I tried to plug in my adaptor. Zap! A shower of sparks when I tried to plug in, followed by all the lights going out. Fortunately, it was still daylight and after a few minutes, the house handyman managed to restore light to the room. I’m glad I didn’t short out the entire place! Can you imagine, bottling stopped because of a bloggers iPhone. Anyway….

the "tasting room"

the “tasting room”

the line up

the line up (R-L; Ultra Brut, L-P NV, Grand Siecle, Alexandra 2004 rose, Laurent Perrier Rose and another Grand Siecle – because one is not enough!)

I had tasted most of the champagnes the week before in London but my companion, Caroline, had not so I was happy to accompany her during the tasting. You can read about the London dinner and tasting here.

the Grand Siecle in its very own (though sadly discontinued) bottle holder

the Grand Siecle in its very own (though sadly discontinued) bottle holder

I really enjoy visiting Champagne and it’s always fascinating to visit the Houses and discover their histories and philosophies. It’s what makes champagne, Champagne.

"Don't Ever Drink Water" fountain and warning that greets you at Laurent-Perrier

“Don’t Ever Drink Water” fountain and warning that greets you at Laurent-Perrier

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Rebecca H /

    Hi. I just read through your posting on your trip to the Laurent-Perrier champagne house. I will be in Reims in August and was just wondering did you book a tour directly with Laurent-Perrier. If yes, who can I contact for a tour there? Thanks.

    • Hi Rebecca, I booked my trip through contacts here in London but the House is open to the public. They have public tours most days but it’s best to check with their website. They have a contact form there where you can request more information. August might not be the best time to visit as many places in France close for their holidays in August. Taittinger, which is in the middle of Reims are open every day for public tours and you don’t need to make an appointment. I know they have tours in English available as well. Veuve Clicquot is also in the middle of Reims and open to the public. Both are well worth a visit and you’ll have a better chance of finding them open in August. Good luck with L-P!

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