Champagne Weekend

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vineyards in Epernay, Champagne region of France | MontgomeryFestChampagne region | Epernay, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne region | Epernay, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne region | Epernay, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne region | Epernay, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne region | Epernay, France | MontgomeryFestIt was a weekend for the books. Sarah, Drew, Justin and I + champagne.We got into Reims Friday night to ensure maximum champagne tasting capability. That, and nobody wanted to drive the three short, but early morning hours to meet the tour guide at 9am. Reims has one street of bars. It's made up of tiny, shiny tiles and not made for cars. Just ask Justin..really shiny.There was a lot of catching up to do - which is often the case when you haven't seen your expat friends (they're real friends, but we're all expats..that's important) in about a month. There's a lot of traveling and guests that take place. So, catching up. Til 2:30a. Lovely.Rise and shine and where's the coffee? We met the tour guide at the train station, along with an American father-daughter duo and an Australian couple. Once again, of the eight, there were six Americans..of the six, there were 4.5 accountants (what do I call myself?!)...we're trying to branch out. Really, we are.The Champagne region has some of the prettiest countryside (duh, we're in France) filled with plateaus (chyea.) and vineyards for days. Okay, so get this. Grape harvesting happens once a year in the fall. It changes every year based on when the grapes are ready and once the grapes are ready, it's absolute go time. So, planning on making it to the harvest is tricky. These lucky ducks not only got there the perfect weekend, we got to pick our own grapes! Sarah and I couldn't have jumped out of that van quick enough when the guide asked us. The boys, well they didn't want to get their hands dirty. Did you know Champagne picks all of their grapes by hand? All of em.Moet and Chandon cellars | Champagne region, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne - BottlesMoet and Chandon Champagne House | France | MontgomeryFestMoet and Chandon cellar | Champagne region, France | MontgomeryFestAfter grape picking, we toured the abbey where Dom Pierre Pérignon rests. They love this guy, as they should..he made some pretty great improvements to the champagne process. Then, we moved on to L'Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, where the prestigious producers sit. Gorgeous, I tell ya. It's the most expensive avenue in the world due to the millions of bottles of champagne hanging out in the cellars underneath. We toured the Moët & Chandon Champagne house where the Dom Pérignon vintage brand is served. Always vintage, because it is only produced during the finest harvest years and never mixing years. Delicious, but I didn't need to tell you that.Champagne region, France | MontgomeryFestChampagne press | MontgomeryFestChampagne cellar | MontgomeryFestLunch at a local wine shop that will inspire our next home decor and then on to a three century old, family-owned winery. If I ever have a wine press, you better bet it'll be that lovely shade of turquoise^^.Some more did you knows for ya - three types of grapes in Champagne :: one white - Chardonnay and two red - Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier. They have to pick by hand so the red grape skins don't stain the grape juice. Aaand Champagne is reserved exclusively for sparkling wines from the Champagne region. It's highly regulated. So, like, in 2008, more than 3000 bottles of sparkling wine produced in California labelled with the term "Champagne" were destroyed by Belgian government authorities..or so I heard. Go 'head Belgium...put the US in their place! Lesson :: know your bubbles.I feel like Justin after he designed my ring...so much info in this head! Anyone want to know about color and clarity??Moving on..Oh, I cut my bangs and subsequently hated them immediately. So, there's that. And we celebrated Drew's birthday, but he didn't want us to tell anybody... oops.