Moët & Chandon
No trip to Champagne would be complete without a stop at the historic house of Moet & Chandon. Founded in 1743, Moet & Chandon is the largest producer of champagne in France, with distribution to more than 150 countries. I love champagne, and I love Moet & Chandon champagne. Not just because it produces a particularly light and refreshing variety, but also because the staff where it's produced is incredibly welcoming and friendly. I have had numerous great experiences here.
Our tour began with a brief video introducing the history of the region, the composition of champagne, and the founding of the house of Moet & Chandon. Usually, I hate these sort of videos. But, this one is so well done and interesting that I enjoyed every minute of it. After the video, we had a brief tour of the building and then headed down to the massive cellar.
As you can imagine, it's a bit cold. A sweater or wrap is highly recommended.
During production, bottles are stored for about seven years on average. Last time I visited, Moet & Chandon was the only producer to turn the bottle exclusively by hand. Unfortunately, that has changed. As with other producers, bottles are now turned by machine.
After the tour, we tasted the an assortment of grand vintage blanc, rosé, and brut champagnes. The distinction: the mix of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes.
Our guide was fantastic. She conducted a tour that was so dense with information about the production of champagne, interwoven with facts about the history of Moet & Chandon, that I needed to clarify a few points during our tasting.