One of the activities we both definitely wanted to do while in France was go to Champagne country. We figured the easiest route was going through a tour company so we booked a day tour out to G.H. Mumm and Mercier through our go-to Fat Tire Tours. Champagne drinker or not, the trek out there and tour is worth it for all~ beautiful small towns, authentic French cuisine (paired with local champagne of course) and lots of history.
First stop was Mumm!
The beginning of the tour led us through how they used to store the bubbly during it’s first round of fermentation before changing to how it’s stored today.
Tiny doors and tile led to the makers realizing this way was not practical for cleaning and changing over the champagne batches, so they switched to oak barrels.
But through time and demand they eventually changed to storing in stainless steel vats.
Next stop was Mercier.
So this was really cool. Back in 1889, aka the year of the World’s Fair, Champagne Mercier debuted it’s 20-ton champagne barrel, hauling it through the streets via 24 bulls and 18 horses! Only took about 20 years to complete and getting it through the streets, as you can imagine, this was no small feat. It was so big they had to demolish five nearby buildings to accommodate the spectacle! With around 30 million folks expected to attend, I’d say publicity stunt or not, it was a smart move especially since it lives on in the lobby of the winery-both in miniature form and the real deal.
We brought home a bottle to open on our 2 year, which was on October 31st. We enjoyed it in our new hot tub! (Oh yea, that happened, that’s a thing now!)
Overall the champagne tours were really cool but you know what was even better, the meal we had after at a local eatery.
Before getting back on the bus, we got some MORE champs for the road. I mean, we weren’t driving…
As you can imagine, we had a good time. Lots to learn and I didn’t want to spoil it all so, try it out for yourself, highly recommend!