A Visit to Épernay

The River Marne meanders by a sensuous immature valley; a highway winds past well-maintained vineyards; and a mill houses in tiny villages secrete history. Our Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is usually a few kilometers from Épernay, a city in northeastern France of twenty-three thousand that’s home to a excellent champagne makers in a world. Their headquarters—including companies like Heidsieck and Perrier-Jouët—line a categorical road, aptly named Avenue de Champagne. And a commanding buildings of light-colored mill right during a start of a highway go to Moët Chandon, that was founded by Claude Moët in 1743.

Épernay is home to a domicile of heading champagne makers

The atmosphere in a cold limestone attic is damp and somewhat musty. On possibly side of a colonnade are shelves filled with vast bottles. Here, low underground, Moët Chandon works to rise a ideal stimulating booze with a special concentration on a famous delegate distillation that creates champagne unique—a booze with fruit, structure, and a refreshingly epicurean serve of CO dioxide that lends it a really special lightness.

Soon after a company’s founding, a Moët family began provision a products with an eye to a powerful, a wealthy, and a beautiful, both within and distant over a borders of France. In 1762 a initial bottles were sent to Russia, afterwards to a USA, and in a nineteenth century to Brazil and China. Today Moët Chandon is a tellurian pitch of oppulance and pleasure, immortalized in Hollywood films like Pretty Woman and The Great Gatsby. It appears in songs by rapper Snoop Dogg and a mill rope Queen. Tennis fable Roger Federer is a company’s central ambassador. And no Formula E feat jubilee would be finish but vast bottles of Moët Chandon for a requisite champagne shower.

Moët Chandon’s cellars have a total length of over thirty kilometers

Although a French oppulance products firm LVMH—which also owns a Dom Pérignon brand—doesn’t recover accurate figures, a bottle from a champagne builder is pronounced to be non-stop somewhere in a universe each second. That would meant annual prolongation of a good thirty-one million bottles. Moët Chandon itself has some-more than 1,200 hectares of vineyards, that cover about a entertain of production. The rest is granted by vintners in a form of primary products: grapes, grape musts, and wine, all of that contingency accommodate special peculiarity criteria. These afterwards bear serve estimate in Épernay. Between 8 and 10 thousand bottles per hectare can be constructed in a Champagne booze region.

Benoît Gouez, who became attic master in 2005 and is therefore a duke of taste, greets us precisely on time. A high male with engineer stubble, he’s wearing a well-fitting dim fit with a white shirt and a ideally concurrent handkerchief. His grave voice commands attention. “Our cuvée Impérial is fruity, generous, and elegant,” he says. This champagne—created in 1869 to symbol a centennial of a birth of constant patron Napoleon Bonaparte—accounts for 60 percent of a company’s stream product range.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a expert of Moët Chandon

Moët has traditionally cultivated a uninformed style, and a attic master’s pursuit is to say it. To do so, he customarily blends wines from 3 opposite years and good over one hundred casks. Wines from 2016 now predominate, with smaller percentages from 2015 and 2014. Impérial reflects a varietals grown in a Champagne cultivation area roughly exactly: a good third of pinot noir, a somewhat reduce commission of pinot meunier, and 25 to 30 percent chardonnay. It has a light floral nose with records of peach. Its fruit is clear, and a excellent froth and mature astringency teach a enterprise to take another sip.

“The priority during Moët Chandon is always pleasure.”
Benoît Gouez, attic master

“This is a champagne that meets many people’s tastes,” says Gouez. The attic master is obliged not usually for this tip seller. Over a years, he has also serve grown a brand’s disdainful vintages in considerable fashion. “Our vintages are some-more personal for me,” he says. “They’re champagnes for people who know what they’re celebration nonetheless also like to learn something new and who conclude a special qualities of a sold year.” The particular qualities of a 2012 Grand Vintage embody a fragrance of orange peel, apricot, and hazelnut, ultra-fine bubbles, and a accurate structure. In contrariety to Impérial, a wines for Grand Vintage come essentially from grand cru areas, nonetheless a grapes themselves can vary. In 2012 chardonnay dominated with 41 percent, nonetheless that isn’t set in stone, records Gouez. To give Grand Vintage a special finesse, he has it mature with a leavening for 6 years, compared to dual years for Impérial. “Despite all a complexity, we don’t need any egghead training to suffer it,” he says with a smile. “The priority during Moët Chandon is always pleasure.”


Text initial published in a Porsche patron repository Christophorus, No. 393.

Text by Christian ARNOLD // Photos by Patrick Gosling, Moët Chandon,
Bernard Cahier/Getty Images