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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Countdown to the harvest-Champagne Le Gallais

Champagne Le Gallais has been whispering my name for the past few years. It began sometime in 2010 when I tasted their champagne in a wine fair "Salons des vins des Vignerons Indépendants" in Reims. The owner of the champagne house Herve immediately caught my eye, as did his champagne. 

Credit: almaphotos.com

Herve was timeless- a quirky, gregarious man who was far from the pretentious champagne owner I would have imagined. Herve filled up my flute to the brim with his family's gorgeous bubbly and explained the finesse of the brut I was about to taste. Taste I did and I stored the image of the welcoming owner Herve and the delicious Champagne Le Gallais brut in my memory- tiny bubbles, notes of crisp green apple and a complex long finish. I knew I had to visit the property soon and luckily the village of Boursault, France was only a 1h20 ride from Paris!

Credit: almaphotos.com

On my first visit I was in awe. There’s just something about Champagne Le Gallais. The property has the most amazing feel- softly swaying trees, the sound of the breeze & birds, huge open country land, an ancient 150 yr old wall, vine after vine of beautiful pinot noir and meunier (which make up 90% of his 4 walled hectares) and of course the forever view of a huge 100 bedroom gorgeous ancient "Hunting Lodge" Chateau which was previously part of Madame Clicquots family in the 1830's and is covered in carved stone wild boars, deer and the Greek goddess Diana the Huntress. 

This tiny Champagne house produces not more than 30,000 bottles a year.  Madame Clicquot (of Veuve Clicquot) had built her hunting lodge on the vineyard grounds (calling it a lodge is a bit of an understatement, as it's a gorgeous chateau), which the family is now carefully restoring. What is most amazing is that the vines are hand pruned by just two men, Herver Gallais, and Dominique, his right hand man. 

Champagne le Gallais is a place where you can’t help but lose track of time and delight in the fact that you’ve done so. Then the champagne, oh the champagne. An Extra Brut- crisp and bright with just the right amount of acidity, a Brut with notes of bright green apple, a Rosé aged 7 years with just a touch of caramel and a Millésime 2004 vintage with beautiful notes of aged ripe fruits. This is somewhere not to be missed on a visit to champagne! 

Credit: almaphotos.com

End of September/ early October is the time to pull the trigger and make a visit happen! After the patient wait for the right temperatures and perfect maturity champagne houses have predicted their harvest /vendange for 2013 (around Sept 25th-October 7th 2013). It's an exciting time! Luckily for wine lovers Champagne Le Gallais is inviting you to share in on the job during this special season. 

Champagne Le Gallais is partnering with my tour company-Tasty Side To Life Tours and welcoming everyone to their estate in Boursault sometime the last week of September or early October (estimated harvest party for Oct 6th). Visitors will spend a few hours picking grapes, taste fresh pressed wines, enjoy a meal prepared from a Michelin star chef-huge roasted pig, a nice gourmet salad and a few glasses of Champagne Le Gallais's current release champagnes. 

There is no doubt everything will be delicious. Groups of all ages are welcome. Bring a blanket if you would like to stretch out on the lawn.

For those who love superb wine, gourmet food tastings, and breathtaking views of a 150 year old Chateau, this is a fabulous opportunity to gather with friends old and new to celebrate the harvest in Champagne!

To reserve your seat send an email here with your Name, # in party and title it "Fete de la vendange"! Or leave a vm @ +33(0) 688151255.

150€ per person (grape picking, Michelin star rustic roasted whole pig lunch + champagne). 

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