Epernay, smack in the middle of Champagne region (at least to me). There’s a rather impressive street called Avenue de Champagne where some of the large champagne houses reside. I was told there’s another one in Reims, but its so big I didn’t see it there. In Epernay, the champagne houses takes up a large majority of the town. You have Moet & Chandon, there’s Mercier as well and a bunch of others. Out of these Moet is the largest as far as I know.
Back to Castellane. I’ve heard of this champagne before as everytime we celebrate something in the office there’s at least a case of it. We wanted to go into the Mercier cellar tour but it was winter when we were there and was told later that most cellar tours (they call it “cave tours”) are closed. Castellane was open.
The cost of the tour was 7 Euro (early 2007) per person including a glass of brut champagne. Other than the usual “how do we make it”, there’s a nice walk in the cellars, that’s supposed to either stretch 1km or totaled 1km. I think it should be the former since we saw a long alleyway that stretches into infinity. Some of the bottles of wine still aging in there are covered in soft fungus.
Very interesting… The picture above is a spy picture of the racks of champagne bottles that seems to be filled, either waiting for eternity, or waiting to be put on a robot arm that turns the bottle automatically.
63, Avenue de Champagne