Montagne de Reims
Remuage by hand at Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne Cave
May Bank Holiday Champagne
25 - 27 May 2013
Spend Bank Holiday weekend in the Capital of Champagne, Reims, tasting 25 champagnes and starting at breakfast! Over the course of the weekend we’ll escort you to a good cross section of Houses, from those that forged Champagne’s reputation such as Taittinger, Pol Roger and Veuve Clicquot as well as to our choice of quality growers and rising stars in the Grand Cru villages.
You will receive a special welcome and generous tastings at houses that we have been visiting for many years. These are some of the many advantages of choosing to travel with Arblaster & Clarke on our original champagne weekends. Our successful champagne weekend itinerary has changed very little since 1987 – it was totally ground breaking then and remains the market leader now.
Our Exclusive Comparative Tastings
Each evening, as always on Arblaster & Clarke Champagne weekends, our Wine Guide will show you a selection of Champagnes in order to introduce the various styles and different Houses or Growers in two tastings, one each evening. These fund and illuminating tastings are exclusive to Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours and our clients. Our champagne loving clients often tell us that they find these tastings to be the most enjoyable and informative part of these special Champagne weekends.
Our Wine Guide
Our Wine Guide is UK based and will travel out and back on the journey with you. The Wine Guides are wine experts, wine journalists, consultants or Masters of Wine who have been specially selected by A&C for their ability to communicate their great knowledge in an approachable and enjoyable way. Being UK based they understand the British approach to Champagne and what is available on the UK market and can help you choose which champagnes are the “best buys” on tour without any local bias or lack of understanding of the global wine market.
We select a good range of Champagne houses to visit so that you have a great choice of Champagnes to buy! The vintages and special cuvées from the top houses can be much better value when bought on location and the top quality smaller Champagne producers that we visit have excellent quality, great value Champagnes starting from very little over £10. You can bring back up to 36 bottles per person, plenty to keep you going over the summer months or for a special occasion.
Wine & Dine
Reims has a wealth of wonderful restaurants, brasseries and bistros from Michelin starred restaurants (early booking essential!) to more reasonably priced gourmet restaurants and traditional style brasseries. We provide a list of all our tried and tested ones before the trip with phone numbers, so you can book ahead if you wish. However, we will make a reservation at our favourite (reasonably priced) brasseries and you are very welcome to join our Wine Guide or Tour Manager for dinner for a very convivial evening. This again is one of the great advantages of an Arblaster & Clarke fully escorted tour. We give you the flexibility to dine alone if this is what your prefer, or the fun of being part of a lively party who generally all get on together really well, especially after the Champagne tasting has broken the ice! Those clients who travel alone with us especially appreciate this.
Breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. The A&C Tour Manager is on hand to exclusively serve our clients with a glass of Champagne to go with their buffet breakfast (much to the disappointment of other hotel guests who have not had the good foresight to book on an A&C Champagne Weekend!)
In the afternoon, we will visit the beautiful cellars of Champagne Taittinger, which weave for kilometres under the city of Reims. They were carved out of the chalk by the Romans and now house the prestige Cuvée of Taittinger, the ‘Comtes de Champagne’. This is another perfect introduction to Champagne; we see how it is made and then taste a couple of champagnes in their elegant tasting room.
Champagne Brice, used to feature on our very first Champagne weekends and we were delighted to welcome them back to the programme in 2007, our 20th year. Champagne Brice are based in Bouzy but also have vineyards in Cramant and Verzenay. The Brices have taken the decision to produce a range of non-vintage mono-cru champagnes that age well.
The final morning we will visit the family firm of Cattier based in Chigny-Les-Roses, who make excellent champagnes with a distinct Montagne de Reims character. The crown jewel is the single vineyard “Clos du Moulin”, a complex champagne with a fine balance of pinot noir & chardonnay. This is a firm definitely ‘on the move’, quailty is ever increasing and quantity too! They now produce the historic “Maximes” brand in conjunction with Maximes of Paris.
We visit Champagne Launois, an old, established Grower Champagne that has been marketed since 1872. Launois is now headed up and run by the eighth generation of the family; sisters Severine and Caroline Launois. They own a large number of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and produce mainly Blanc de Blancs champagnes.