Mum's end to tiffin box tantrums......

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Europe diary 2016: Visiting Reims -the champagne capital of the world

Highway leading to Reims, France 

                           

It was about time that we leave Paris for another country of immense beauty. We headed towards Reims situated in the Northeastern side of Paris and known as the champagne capital of the world.  A beautiful city which dates back its presence in the  12th century, a city with all modern amenities  of  life a perfect blend of  culture and business. The buildings were   quite old and bear the testimony of medieval architecture.


Walk way near the church




Cathedral, Reims











                             



We saw the oldest church of the city which was constructed in the 12th century. The inside of the church was captivating and we felt a certain charm under the roof of the church. It’s a small city with a population of 1.87 million. Whenever war hit a place, several destructions occurred and Reims is one such example.  Anyway Reims takes the pride to be the desired venue of French coronation for years. The cathedral has been listed as one of the heritage sights rated by UNESCO.

Process of champagne fermentation



The best part of the city is the champagne growing region. Known for the best champagnes of the world, Reims is the most visited place meant for champagne lovers. Reims played a prominent role in the French monarchial history. The very first sight of the cathedral was truly a great impression. The guide told us that it was destroyed during World War I by the Germans which were again re-established.  
                         
Fountain on the roads of Reims



We passed by the town hall of the city. You may find various hotels for stay and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional French food. The champagne yard was a bit far and it takes 43 euros per person to plan a trip in the champagne valley just to have a look at the champagne growing process. An overnight stay in the grape vineyards will cost you 150 euros per person.


                            
Town Hall of Reims, France.
                     
We were running out of time else a trip to the champagne growing region would have been really great.  There are certain package tours where you may opt to visit 4-5 champagne growers of the region and could taste at least 15 types of the drink. 

Champagne has an interesting history. Wine produced from selected grapes was favorite drink of The French and some Englishmen. Now For Dom Perignon and his contemporaries wine was not the desired end product but they preferred sparkling wine. The bubbles in wine became a natural process.  The fermentation takes place in bottles and creates carbon dioxide which then forces out due to pressure. Now the weak bottles were replaced by strong glass bottles and closed them with the help of Spanish cork. Dom Perignon dies in 1715 but his 47 years of experience as cellar master led the basic principles of champagne making today. After 1800 the sparkling wine industry or champagne was established in a wider way.
The bottle of champagne starts from minimum 250 euros and can end up to 5000 euros.  I managed to collect some photos from some friends who were lucky enough to visit the place. Sight of the champagne valley looks no lesser than a fairy tale landscape and those houses looks like
I might have seen them in some movies.  The lush green vineyards were a soothing sight.
I left this lovely place for Germany. Was looking towards another opportunity to discover the mighty structures and hospitality offered as well as to take home some of the world class champagne gown by this region.