A while back after reading the Guardian's article: Champagne wine route: top 10 guide, we decided to visit the charming village of Hautvillers in the Champagne region of France. This historical village is the resting place of Dom Pérignon, who's tombstone can be found in the Abbey de Hautvillers. This happened to be a very busy time for the village, and the entire region in general, as we were right in the midst of harvest time. This is a period of about a week every year when the grapes are picked and squeezed into juice - the first step of the Champagne making process. While trucks full of grapes, tractors, and other equipment were whizzing by we decided to duck into Au 36, a cool Champagne tasting bar and boutique located on 36 rue Dom Pérignon. The tasting bar offered us the opportunity to taste three Champagnes each made out of 100% Chardonnay, 100% Pinot Noir, and 100% Meunier, as well as a few vintage Champagnes. It was a great way to better learn about the individual characteristics each grape offers. We also tried some delicious regional food specialties to go along with the bubbly, which included Chaource cheese, Reims ham, lentils and pink macarons.
The boutique stocks 50 different Champagnes from the region. The cool thing is that if you buy a case of 6 the price per bottle is equivalent to that of buying directly from the producer. Another cool thing is that Au 36 has now partnered with us and sells the Wine Check luggage and Lazenne's line of bottle protectors!
What's your favourite place or experience in Champagne or wine country?
au36.net, 38 rue Dom Pérignon, Hautvillers, France +33 3 2651 5837