Honeymoon Tour: Paris - Day Two

On day two in Paris we woke up (I felt like I got hit by bus--thank you jet lag) and headed downstairs for our hotel's breakfast. I swear I am telling the truth when I say that the maid/waitress ran out and picked up fresh croissants from the cafe down the street every morning for all the guests. I told you it was a small hotel! So every day we had a delicious breakfast of croissant, jam, some deli meat choices, and of course, some cheese! I'm sitting here and my mouth is watering as I remember all the delicious morsels we had while in Paris. It was the perfect amount of food before our day's adventure. We took the train to Epernay, also known as "Champagne region," which is about an hour and a half outside of Paris. If you like champagne, you'll LOVE Epernay! Also, just a brief interruption--as I'm writing this I am watching a program on Versailles IN FRENCH (it's on the channel TV5MONDE) so that is sort of funny. I would try and write this post in French but I am not that skilled.

The train was not bad at all. We departed from Gare d'est (is that right?) and took the train straight to Epernay. Along the way we saw some adorable French country towns that I want to run away too now that I'm thinking about it. A short walk from the train station was our first stop: Moet & Chandon! We were visiting the Champagne house for a tasting and tour of their champagne cellars.
We arrived a bit early for our tour so we hung out inside the champagne house and had a walk around the store. Is there anything fresher than champagne sold at the actual champagne house?! I don't think so! How cute is this display? It's all the different sizes of champagne that is sold. No, I promise I did not buy the ginormous one all the way to the right. I did buy some minis though for us and my sister.
Once it was time for our tour we met our guide, Alisa, who gave us a brief tour of the main level of the champagne house. How beautiful this? It's the courtyard to where private events are held.
After our history lesson and education of the Moet and Chandon families we headed down into the refreshingly cool cellars. The cellars all were illuminated with very yellow light -- it's better for the delicate champagne since sunlight can ruin champagne. Quelle dommage!
Moet & Chandon has over 17 miles of cellars across multiple levels underground. And in the cutouts throughout the cellars are stacks and stacks of bottles of champagne. The sign at the top of each stack tells you how many bottles and the year of the champagne in that stack. 
See what I mean about the yellow lights?? I also learned that Moet & Chandon acquired Dom Perignon. There is an entire Dom Perignon wing of the cellar. Here's a photo of me just chilling with an entire wall of MANY bottles of Dom! Who is ready to pop the cork??
After the tour of cellars was finished we walked up to the tasting rooms. For the tasting they opened a few bottles of the 2008 Vintage. Fun fact, it is up to the cellar master to decide if he or she would like to create a vintage. Vintages are typically made when the grapes are particularly good. Another fun fact, there was a vintage made during my birth year of 1990--I was destined to be a champagne baby! Lol. They poured us each a glass of Moet & Chandon Vintage 2008 rose and Moet & Chandon Vintage 2008 brut. Don't ask me to tell you which one I preferred...they were both delicious!
Overall, we learned about the champagne region, types of grapes, champagne-making process, and history of the house. Did you know that in order to be "champagne" the grapes must be picked by hand ONLY. The harvest lasts about 2-3 weeks between August and September and it was just about over when we visited but you could still see it happening if you walked up into the hills.

Then we walked around the town, which was STUNNING. We must have been walking around when school let out because next thing you know there were a bunch of french students (that were much cooler than us) hanging out around this building.
Picture perfect, right? When there got to be too many school kids we walked to Georges Cartier for another champagne tasting and then headed to dinner. I highly recommend Chez Francoise! I had just the right amount of champagne to order completely in French like a pro. I ordered ratatouille...because it's French, duh!
That champagne went down soooo easy let's just say we bought a few bottles!
Then it was back home to Paris for some more twinkling Eiffel Tower, macarons, and sleep. Join me  next time and see what we did on Day Three in Paris won't you?

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