Earlier this month, my luxury brand management class and I took a field trip to the tasty champagne region specifically to a small town called Epernay. At the champagne region we learned all about how champagne is made and the history of the companies we visited: Moët and Chandon and Charles Mignon.
Before we went on the field we learned a few rules about champagne:
1. It is illegal to call sparkling wines champagne if they are not made in France.
2. Champagne consists of three grape varieties- Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and meunière
3. All grapes must be picked by hand and grown in champagne
4. Bottling the champagne must also take place in the champagne region
After we learned about the rules of champagne we were ready take a tour:
Stop 1. Moët and Chandon
Moët and Chandon was my favorite stop of the day. On this tour we learned the history of the brand and how it came to be today. Moët and Chandon is one of the biggest champagne producing companies today and uses a blend of all three of the grapes.
At Moët and Chandon we were taken down to the wine cellars where the champagne is stored to ferment. We also saw an example of the riddling process in the cellar. This process consists of placing the bottle upside down and then turning the bottles ever so slightly to get the yeast in the neck of the bottle. Fun fact, in class we learned that the riddling process was invented by a woman named Madame Clicquot who also created her own champagne, Veuve Clicquot.
After the tour we finally got to taste the champagne. They each gave us a glass of Moët Imperial. After the tasting they gave us the chance to buy some champagne which some classmates did to have with their parents when they come to visit.
Stop 2. Charles Mignon
The other champagne tour we went on was Charles Mignon. This champagne brand is fairly new and their wine making technique is a little more modern than the cellars we saw at Moët and Chandon. Instead we were taking to an area where they keep the champagne in big silver vats. In these vats the champagne ferments. We also saw two egg shaped containers in the front which holds champagne that will take a while to ferment and only a few bottles will be made every few years. It is a new technique Charles Mignon is trying.
After the tour of where the wine is they took us through one of their cellars. And then we got to taste their wine. And again had the opportunity to buy champagne from them as well.
Overall, the champagne region was an enjoyable and interesting place. If you have the opportunity to go I would recommend it whether it be by yourself or through the luxury brand management class.
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<p>Hi! My name is Katie, I am currently a junior at Penn State University majoring in Marketing and minoring in International Business. I love running, photography, cats and dogs, and exploring new places. This semester, I could not be more excited to study abroad in Paris. And I cannot wait to share all my experiences with you.</p>