Viaggio a Reims to preview Veuve Clicquot and the Hôtel du Marc | First Part | Chat with Cyril Brun and novelty de La Grande Dame 2004

by Friday, May 11, 2012

REIMS – Out on the Italian market these days, and the news is this: La Grande Dame 2004 abandons Pinot Munier. «This variety after a dozen of years begins to decline, for this reason we have decided to remove it from The Grande Dame, so today is made only with Pinot Noir, prevalent, and Chardonnay», explains the maison Veuve Clicquot winemaker Cyril Brun. But the taste of Champagne yellow label is not changed and will never change: «We adapt Not sure our champagne to the tastes of consumers in a market rather than to another – Notes Brun -, This means that in Italy as in Usa or China the Veuve Clicquot that you drink is always the same». And the Pas Dosé, very trendy in Italy, Why does not record labels of large maison de Reims and Epernay?"I think it's a fad, in ten years no longer exists. Why don't we make», meets one of the dry wine of Veuve Clicquot. And the Rosé? «Drink from May to September. I think that both summer style pink, but that is not to label as a bubble by women».


Here at Reims seems summer. The temperature is mild early morning until late at night, the yellow fields are silhouetted on the horizon by playing with the blue sky. The Cathedral where they were crowned King of France all is majestic, the stained glass Windows by Chagall are a work of art, but I prefer the three glass plates 1950 featuring all of the wine. Unique in their kind. Besides the Cathedral, In addition to the great contribution of the Rockefeller Foundation for the reconstruction of the roof, has always been supported by all producers of Champagne.

And Madame Clicquot? A widow 28 years, He decided to take over the reins of the cellar of her husband, but not only: because Madame Clicquot tasted wines, that were not marketed without his approval.. Played to make the little chemistry, to find the right mixture for a Rosé that liked really: He succeeded in 1811, When was placed in barrels Bouzy an exceptional Red, just the year in which the sky slash himself from a comet. Thus arose the first Champagne Rosè assembled of history and also the new symbol of maison, a stylized Comet with inside the historic anchor symbol.

Above you can see the “Roundtable” tasting within the underground cellar that is long 24 kilometers and is all dug in chalk.

When Madame Clicquot found himself facing alone the wine market, Veuve Clicquot had 4 hectares. The death of the widow had become 40, While today they are 400, from which the maison produces just 1/3 wine marketing. «The rest of the grapes is all bought», does know Brun.

In the photo above the table of riddling, «other invention of Madame Clicquot. To make the prototype, He used one of his tables of home. Only for regions of space in the cellars were designed the pupitres». In Short, a volcano this grande dame of Champagne: winemaker, inventor, trader, visionary. A little Steve Jobs of France bubbles.

The Hotel du Marc, Despite the name, is not open to the public, but a magnificent private residence where the Maison Veuve Clicquot hosted in past centuries and has its closest friends. In a pluristellato Hotel extralusso, but at the same time familiar.

Was little more than an orchard when it was purchased by Madame Clicquot in 1822, they offered as a gift to his German partner Edouard Werlé. Completed in 1846, He became the private residence of Werlé family, Here he began to host's friends, the most important customers and their subordinates.
The long process of restoration began 4 years ago and who had an eye for environmental sustainability. Veuve Clicquot has long, In fact, very attentive to the amount of carbon emissions released into the environment (so by being the first Champagne House to get in 2004 ISO14001 certification), in the restructuring so it lent a great deal of attention to the reduction of emissions. Now the Hotel du Marc produces 85% of its energy needs through the use of geothermal energy (both for winter heating for summer cooling) and solar thermal and tries to reduce its carbon emission by up to 90%. The restoration works were entrusted to the architect Brenda Brown.

On the first floor are the bedrooms location, introduced by artist Pablo Reinoso with his ode to lives through a beautiful bench-wood sculpture, overlooking the floor and that is the right prelude to the Gallery of portraits of the characters of the House where the rooms are.

There are oils on canvas of 800 telling the visitor past the "family" Clicquot , but a dramatic light that comes directly from portraits, made by young local artists with a strange technique is made of light and overlapping fabrics.

On this long corridor open six rooms, each inspired by a season, a place (tied in some way to the champagne Veuve Clicquot, even just for commercial reasons) and to a historical figure who changed the fortunes of the House.



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