Updated: Feb 24
One of my favorite days of the year is here. New Years Eve is a time for new beginnings, growth, fresh starts and so much more. It feels very applicable to me right now with all the changes I've been making. There is one other reason New Years Eve is my one of my favorite days, apart from all the beautifully draped symbolism, it is National Champagne Day!
In honor of this spectacular day (if you've been following along you know we love any reason to celebrate) here are three must visit champagne houses. Where else would I start but at the beginning, with the first established House of Champagne.
The landing page for their website alone is a wondrously designed dream. Scrolling through their website had me fantasizing about sipping on this bubbly heaven. Their website is full of endless delights. If you never make it to the actual Champagne House at the very least you should give their website a visit. They have an entire virtual reality experience detailing the champagne making process through modern art. That is JUST the website.
photo shared by @mlaniebc
The House of Ruinart was established in 1729 and is the first House of Champagne. The building itself is breathtaking. It isn't hard to imagine Marie Antoinette staring out one of the large arched windows into the court yard. Simply standing before it takes you back in time. Maison Ruinart has more than your typical cellar. Chalk quarries that are more than 2,000 years old act as their cellars. They offer small guided tours to maximize your experience. If you are looking for a truly rich experience steeped in the history of champagne Ruinart is the House for you.
Photo shared by @laurie_cg_
J. De Telmont
If you are looking for a slightly more modern experience J. De Telmont is for you. Having been founded in 1912 it is considered young. It's among the most open and friendly of all the champagne houses with their closely guarded secrets. During their September harvest the House graciously opens the vineyard to visitors to watch as the grapes are brought in.
Photo shared by @champagnejdetelmont
They even offer small champagne workshops for the truly dedicated. Get immersed in the world of champagne and the history of J. De Telmont as you enjoy champagne and cheese pairings. You can also come away with personalized bottles which make fantastic gifts.
One of the most recognizable names in champagne. It is a powerHOUSE. Beyond being delicious this Champagne House has an amazing origin story. Started by her
husbands father, Madame Clicquot took over the family business after her husbands death when she was 27. In fact the name is inspired by her, Veuve is french for 'widow'. Only after she took over did the House really bloom. Madame Clicquot invented the rose champagne recipe that is still widely used today by most modern champagne houses. She is commonly known as the "Grande Dame of Champagne."
On your tour you will learn about Madame Clicquot as well as receive a tour of Veuve's wine cellars which are also ancient chalk quarries that date back to the Middle Ages. If you missed them at Ruinart you get another chance here. The quarries started serving as wine cellars in the early 1900s and during World War I acted as a Red Cross infirmary station and shelter. With one of the most interesting histories, the Grande Dame has something for everyone.
I hope you've enjoyed this micro tour of Champagne Houses. From my glass of bubbly to yours, Happy New Year!