Hautvillers Champagne walking in the footsteps of Dom Perignon

Written by on October 13, 2016 in Champagne-Ardenne, Wine and Drinks

hautvillers-champagne

Hautvillers Champagne| Even though I’ve been to the Champagne region several times, after all it’s only a couple of hours drive from where I live in northern France, I’ve never been to Hautvillers.

So, when I got the chance to go and meet a Champagne producer who lives just 20 minutes away and where I have my own row of vines (via My 3D Vines from whom you can rent a row of vines and then buy the bottles which the grapes produce at a great price – genius!) well, you didn’t need to ask me twice.

I va va voomed up the main auto route A26 to Reims and then managed to get lost despite having very clear instructions but it was only for a little while and it gave me a chance to see the lovely little village of Villedommange where “my” vines are.

villedommange-champagne

I met Pierre Fresne, 7th generation Champagne producer in the village, tasted the Champagne at Domaine Fresne-Ducret– it’s one of the best I’ve ever tasted (and I have tasted a lot, 16 different Champagnes in one day once, it was work. Honest!) and visited the vineyard to see how the grapes were coming along.

Then I drove the short distance to Hautvillers. It’s a very pretty little town, very old, quite quirky and really quite sleepy!

Bursting your Bubble

Located in the heart of the Reims Mountain vineyards, this little village is where it all began when Monk Dom Pérignon who worked at the Abbey in the town, “discovered” Champagne. It might surprise you to know, and I don’t want to burst your bubble – though it seems that this famous monk did – historians tells us that he tried hard to get rid of the fizz we love so much and was more interested in improving the vines, the bottling process, the corking and the whole technical aspects of making this famous wine. Whatever, we all love the idea of him holding his glass aloft and calling “Brothers, come quick I am tasting the stars” and I’m sticking with that story!

rue-dom-perignon-hautvillers

Dom Pérignon’s tomb rests today in the chancel of the Saint-Sindulphe abbey church. The town itself is quite small, with a few restaurants and shops that have wonderful iron advertising signs. There are fabulous views of the countryside around and, if like me you’re a Champagne fan, this is a great place to spend a half day and enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner accompanied by of course, Champagne!

The Champagne Prayer

champagne-prayer

I leave you with the Hautvillers town prayer as spotted on the door above! La prière du matin à la mode champagne:
Donnez-moi la santé pour longtemps, du boulot pas trop souvent, de l’amour de temps en temps, mais du champagne tout le temps.

Give me health for a long time, Work, not too often, Love, from time to time, But Champagne all the time!

More on Champagne
Guide to Champagne Bottles and Sizes
Champagne – the French Elixir
Guide to Epernay “capital of Champagne the drink”
Guide to Reims, Capital of Champagne

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