Things have slowed down enough that I’ve finally had a chance to go through my pictures and notes from our trip through France. While I’ve trekked through Europe many times before this was actually my first time visiting Champagne, Burgundy, Jura, Savoie, Northern & Southern Rhone and Provence. During our 6 days, we visited some of our current producers while also adding stops to a few new potential ones too. Here’s a day-by-day look into our trip in what will be my first foray into blogging so be please be gentle with your comments below….I’m a still a newbie damnit;)
Day 1 - We landed in Paris early and hit the ground running! After a 3 hour drive we finally arrived at our first destination, Champagne to visit Vincent Couche. The winery is located in the heart of the Cote Des Bar , where he has 13 hectares of vines. In Montgueux there are 3 hectares of Chardonnay and In Buxeuil there’s another 10 hectares of Pinot Noir.
Our visit began with an intensive 3 hour tasting as Vincent took us through everything from Elegance (extra-brut) to his Ratafia de Champagne. The standout to me and a wine we’ll be adding to our portfolio was Chloe. Chloe, one of the many names of the greek goddess of harvest and agriculture (Demeter), also happens to be the name of Vincent’s wife. It is a unique no sulfite, solera style champagne started in 2011 and renewed 25% per vintage. Alive and vibrant with intense candied fruits, buttery and brioche notes, lots of texture and a citrus and salty finish.
Everything in the winery is done by gravity, without pumps and wines are unfiltered with dosage (final sugar addition) kept to a minimum, if any is added at all. The Couche family has been Demeter certified since 2008. All of these low intervention winemaking decisions are made in order to express the terroir of the land in each bottle.
After the tasting and with jetlag officially setting in, the rest of our visit was shortened. As darkness quickly descended upon us we finished the night with a few vintage magnums of Millesime & Sensation at the amazing Le Garde Champetre, Ferme/Restaurant. I’ve been told there was an hour drive to our hotel but delirious and now in a jetlagged induced coma I remember nothing…..until we arrive in Burgundy (day 2)!