Tag Archive for 'champagne'

The Champagne Warrior

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Mention Champagne to people, and their eyes just light up. Thoughts of New Year’s Eve, wedding toasts, and other celebratory events jump immediately to mind. But, Champagne is a wine, first and foremost, and shouldn’t be relegated to some once-in-awhile beverage. So, how does one find out more about its versatility? Well, fortunately, we’ve invited a guest to educate us on some of the nuances of Champagne.

Although Michigan resident Brad Baker grew up drinking Australian Shiraz and California sparklers, it was a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee that really rocked his world, and made him want to dedicate himself to learning and discovering as much as possible about the people, land, culture, and wines of Champagne – as well as other sparkling wine regions around the world. Of course, discovery and knowledge often leads to something further. In Brad’s case, all of this knowledge led quite naturally to developing “The Champagne Warrior”, his newsletter to inform subscribers all about great Champagne and sparkling wine.

Join us as we talk with Brad about his passion and enthusiasm for Champagne. We’ll also learn a few geeky things about this bubbly beverage that will have you saying, “no more flutes.”

For more info on The Champagne Warrior: www.champagnewarrior.com

Sponsor: The Independent Champagne and Sparkling Wine Invitational: www.icswi2010.com

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Show #263
(1:01:38min 44MB)

Champagne Duval-Leroy

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Duval-Leroy – Video Show #53.

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Established in 1859 through the merger of two Champagne growers, Champagne Duval-Leroy is still a family business, handed down from father to son for 148 years. Carol Duval-Leroy has been running the Maison since 1991, after the sudden loss of her husband. Located in Vertus, in the heart of Côte des Blancs since its creation, this area was an important regional center during the Middle Ages, and was entirely destroyed once during the Hundred Years’ War and then again during the Second World War. With five hundred hectares of vines, Vertus (pop. 2,500) is now the second largest wine-growing district in the Champagne region, after Les Riceys.

Currently, Duval-Leroy cultivates about 200 hectares of grapes: Chardonnay (27%), Pinot Noir (38%) and Meunier (35%), and is ranked in the 15 top Champagne houses with a production of 5-6 million bottles annually. Their own vineyards contribute an independent supply of grapes which provides one quarter of the company’s annual grape needs, with the balance coming from growers under contract. Although the main production facility is in Vertus, Duval-Leroy has additional facilities located in Bligny, Beaunay, Chouilly and Sézanne where grapes can be pressed on location, and juice trucked in to the main facility.

Join us as we visit the large Duval-Leroy facility in Vertus during crush.

For More Info on Champagne Duval-Leroy: www.duval-leroy.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Champagne Salon

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Salon – Video Show #52.

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Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, is south of Épernay in the middle of the Côte des Blancs, and is home to the House of Champagne Salon. Salon only produces one Champagne, the Cuvée “S”, and only in vintage bottlings. Since its inception in 1921, Salon has made only 37 vintages – an average of around four per decade. The fruit comes from a 2.5-acre vineyard owned by Salon (Le Jardin de Salon, or “Salon’s Garden”) and from 19 smaller parcels representing 22.5 acres of vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, all chosen by founder Eugène-Aimé Salon early in the 20th century.

Created in 1921, the House of Salon was headed by Aimé until his death in 1943, when it was left to his nephew. It was then bought by Dubonnet-Cinzano in 1963, later part of the Pernod-Ricard group. In 1988, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, became the majority shareholder of Champagne Salon.

Join us as we visit with managing director Didier Dupond, and our excellent guide Marie-Agnes Thomas. We were also able to explore the estate vineyard and cellar of Salon, where we talk with vineyard manager Christelle Rinville and watch as master riddler Bernard Charpentier disgorges some Champagne the old-fashioned way, like his father and grandfather before him.

For More Info on Champagne Salon: www.champagnesalon.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Champagne Ruinart

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Ruinart – Video Show #51.

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Founded in 1721, the House of Ruinart was named after Benedictine monk Dom Thierry Ruinart. It is located at the entrance to the city of Reims, where crayères (Gallo-Roman chalk pits) hewn out of the chalk subsoil are the secret to a slow ageing process, normally lasting between three and twelve years depending on the cuvée.

Ruinart was the first champagne House to acquire its crayères, classified as a historic monument in 1931. The depth of the pits and the chalk from which they are made provide perfect thermal stability and optimum humidity. The constant low temperature leads to a slow prise de mousse (the formation of smaller bubbles), resulting in a light refreshing mousse or mouthfeel.

Join us as we visit the crayères, and sit down with Ruinart’s cellarmaster Frédéric Panaїotis to discuss Ruinart’s history, its vineyard sources, and, of course, taste its various cuvées.

For More Info on Champagne Ruinart: www.ruinart.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Champagne Roger Coulon

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Roger Coulon – Video Show #50.

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Champagne Roger Coulon is a classic example of a Grower Champagne. Here in Vrigny, in the Montagne de Reims region of Champagne, Eric and Isabelle Coulon, are considered Recoltants-Manipulants (growers and producers).

Since 1806, eight generations of this family of wine growers has cultivated vines, harvested grapes and produced and sold its own wine. The family vineyards of 9 hectares (22.5 acres), are spread over 70 parcels of land in 5 villages, most of which benefit from South-east facing slopes on a sub soil made up of chalk and clay. As with many small growers, grass is grown between the vines on every other row to limit erosion, and the Coulon’s practice of lutte raisonée (reasoned agriculture) uses minimal herbicides and pesticides. The vines grown here are 40% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay with an average vine age of 38 years. Using only wild yeasts, they produce about 75,000 bottles per year.

Join us as we visit with Eric and Isabelle Coulon, and watch GrapeRadio’s Jay and Eric as they help (or hinder) the harvesting of Pinot Noir clusters in the vineyard, and later as Jay races to dump more grapes into the press in a little friendly competition with the locals.

For More Info on Champagne Roger Coulon: www.champagne-coulon.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Champagne Jacquesson

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Jacquesson – Video Show #49.

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Champagne Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson and today stakes a claim as the oldest independent Champagne house. Purchased by the Chiquet family in 1974, Jacquesson is now run by brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet, who oversee the vineyards and day-to-day running of the winery.

The champagnes of the House became favorites of Napoleon, and accompanied him on several of his campaigns and were served at his wedding to the Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria. A Jacquesson invention, the muselet, is used to hold the corks in place on all champagne and sparkling wine bottles, was patented by Adolphe Jacquesson in 1844.

Join us as we visit with Jean-Hervé Chiquet in the vineyard for a discussion of terroir, and then move on to the winery to observe crush…

For More Info on Champagne Jacquesson: www.champagnejacquesson.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Champagne Pommery

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Welcome to our video podcast Champagne Pommery – Video Show #48.


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In 1836, the future Maison Pommery was begun by Narcisse Greno. He was joined by Louis Alexandre Pommery some 20 years later, and Henri Vasnier became the company’s financial backer. Following the sudden death of Monsieur Pommery in 1858, his wife, Jeanne-Alexandrine Louise, took over the running of the company in 1858. In 1868, Louise Pommery began the construction of the Domain which still stands today, a construction enterprise which was completed in 1888. In 1874, Pommery began establishing themselves as a Maison producing sparkling wine only. The house continued to be run by family members until 1979, whereupon it changed hands several times. In 2002, current owners Vranken Monopole aquired the Maison Pommery. The 51 hectare Estate contains18 kilometres of cellars and gallo-roman chalk pits, which act as the aging cellar for 20 million bottles of Champagne. The cellars are an attraction in themselves, where the bottles are surrounded with many works of contempory art.

Join us as we visit with Thierry Gasco, Cellar Master of the Pommery House for over a decade. A Reims native, Thierry studied medicine for two years, graduating from the University of Burgundy with the DNO (National Oenology Diploma). In 2004, he was appointed a member of the National Board of the INAO (only 50 members in France) and was reappointed to this same position in 2007. Join us as we visit with Thierry and discuss the Pommery innovations and its wines.

For More Info on Champagne Pommery: www.pommery.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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The Champagne of Dom Pérignon

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Welcome to our video podcast The Champagne of Dom Pérignon – Video Show #47.

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On our visit to Champagne, we had the opportunity to talk again with Richard Geoffroy, the Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon, to get his perspective on the 2007 harvest – which was literally in progress during our visit.

Made by Moët et Chandon since the late 1920s, this prestige cuvée was named for Pierre Pérignon, a Benedictine monk, who legend has it, came out of the cellar one day yelling to his Benedictine brothers “I am drinking stars!” Richard Geoffroy has been the cellar master for Dom Pérignon for over a decade. Although he has a medical degree from the University of Reims, he never entered private practice, preferring instead to get an additional degree in enology and return to the roots of his family – winemaking.

Join us as we visit with Richard at L’Abbaye de Hautvillers, the birthplace of Champagne.

For More Info on The Champagne of Dom Pérignon: www.domperignon.com

The sponsor of this video is the Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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In the Mind of Terry Theise

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As grower Champagnes appear with increasing frequency in the marketplace, we thought it was time to pop the hood (or cork) and take a closer look at them. The name “grower Champagne” is generally given to the sparkling wines of Champagne that are not produced by the larger houses, négoçiants or coopératives. The more complete definition, however, denotes those wines which are grown, vinted, and bottled by a small grower. These small growers, or récoltant-manipulants, are able to purchase only 5% of their own grapes for this purpose, so their production is a relative drop in the bucket of the total volume of Champagne that is produced. And yet, it is quite telling that they are gaining a increasing reputation for both their quality and their affordability.

Join us as we talk with Terry Theise, who has a number of these grower Champagnes in the portfolio of his Terry Theise Estate Selections. We’ll learn about the contribution of these small growers – what they bring to the Champagne region in general and how their product differs from the larger houses.

For more info about Terry Theise and Michael Skurnik Wines: www.skurnikwines.com

Sponsor – Gold Medal Wine Club: www.goldmedalwine.com

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Show #224
(1:24:20min 60MB)

Champagne Ruinart

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Founded in 1729, Ruinart is the longest established sparkling wine house in the Champagne region of France. Named after Benedictine monk Dom Thierry Ruinart, the winery is located in the city of Reims, where ancient crayères (chalk pits) serve as cellars that offer constant temperature and humidity, thus allowing the wine to age as long as 12 years. These crayères were hewn from the chalk sub-soil by the Romans, who used the chalk as building materials. Also used during World War I to escape the bombing, these cellars were classified an historic monument in 1931.

Join us as we sit down with Ruinart’s Cellarmaster Frédéric Panaїotis to discuss Ruinart’s history, its vineyard sources, and of course its various cuvées.

For more info on Champagne Ruinart: www.ruinart.com

Sponsor: Bagged Wine: www.baggedwine.com

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Show #217
(58:56min 42MB)

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Let’s Celebrate Champagne

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Champagne is popular in many sizes.

Come join us along with guest Joanne Beamon, of the Moet Hennessy Corporation in exploring the effervescent drink that has delighted the world for the past two hundred years. Whether it’s French champagne or sparking wine we learn how bubbly is made and that it’s not just for toasting anymore.

You can find more information on Veuve-Clicquot at: Clicquot Inc.

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Show #13
(25:13 min 12 MB)

If you enjoyed this episode check out these other related shows:

Audio #45: The Business of Champagne
Audio #170: The Wines of Dom Perignon
Audio #175: Champagne with Veuve Clicquot
Video #31: Champagne Taittinger: A Walk Through the Cellars
Video #32: The Champage of Philipponnat
Audio #200: The Champagne of Krug


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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